Dubrovnik Museums Zbornik

The 5th edition of Zbornik Dubrovačkih muzeja celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Museums’ founding. This latest volume feature hundreds of articles, reviews, archaeological finds as well as the history and activities of each of the four Dubrovnik Museums throughout their 150 years.

Over 398 pages the book features lavish photographs of paintings, diagrams, letters, documents and previous publications by the Museums, as well as past and present archaeological digs, ground plans, illustrations and finds. It was a honour for me to provide the English translations for the majority of the summaries for each section in this impressive volume.

Publisher: Dubrovački muzeji 2022.
ISSN 1849-8876

Ringo Starr – Plavi vjesnik interview 1967

In issue 661 of Plavi Vjesnik, published on 25th May 1967, there was a short interview with Ringo Starr just before the release of The Beatles Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album.

RINGO STARR in the LP style…

–     The famous astrologer Francesco Waldner predicted some sensational event at the end of 1967. Do you believe it?

–     Mr Waldner was wrong. Timewise. That event will take place soon, at the end of May.

–     ?

–     The new long-playing album by The Beatles will come out. Have you heard of them?

–     Well, yes I have. But as far as I know, they’ve already made a few records; it means one more or less, it doesn’t make much difference…

–     Waldner prophesied a sensational event, which means that it is a sensational record. There won’t be 12 compositions, as is customary when it comes to an LP record…

–     Fewer, but longer?

–     It is recommended to take some dry food when listening to it…

–     The title?

–     Very poetic, simple and relatively short: Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It will also be a new B-bomb with special sounds…

–     “B” like Bombay?

–     “B” like The Beatles…

–     The rest?

–     A Day in the Life, with John Lennon as the soloist accompanied by an orchestra composed of 41 members! Then When I’m 64

–     With autobiographical details?

–     Just partly. It’s about a couple who have been in love all their life. Paul McCartney sings it. John and Paul sing Good Morning, Good Morning, Good Morning together, then there will be She’s Leaving Home and finally Meter Rita – John as a soloist – which we’ve worked on for almost a month!

–     Are you afraid of financial failure?

–     Well, not so much. We expect, and many business people claim, that in a few weeks a million copies of this LP will be sold in England alone.

–     That means… I mean in financial terms…?

–     Um, as I recall, that should be £1 million 582 pounds sterling, which should then be split: on taxes £250,000, Beatles-singers £72,000, Beatles-writers £60,000, sales £450,000 and the record company £750,000.

–     So, the four of you account for only 132,000 pounds (about 460 million old dinars)…

–     That’s just in England, I repeat…

–     Is there are any more news?

–     Paul’s gone to the USA to visit his fiancée Jane Asher, who is touring the theatres there, George shaved off his beard, but as a compensation he allowed his moustache to grow, Paul is looking forward to how the new sound from the latest record will go down with the audience.

–     And you?

–     I’m enjoying myself with little Zak. Can you imagine, he’s already 18 months old! But, soon he’ll have some competition! I mean, Maureen and me, this…

–     Oh? Congratulations!

–     Wait, there’s still time, sometime in August…

–     Hm, not bad. A new LP, and then in August…

–     There you go, we’re trying…


I do not know who the interviewer was or whether the interview was translated from an already existing interview published elsewhere….

Thank to you the Istorija YU rock muzike Facebook group for the scans.

John Lennon Hilton Amsterdam 1969 interview in English – part 3

On 28th March 1969, just days after their wedding in Gibraltar, Konstantin Miles spent three hours interviewing John Lennon and Yoko Ono in the Hilton Amsterdam Hotel during their first bed-in for peace. This interview was published in the Yugoslav weekly TV, radio and entertainments magazine Studio (similar to the BBC’s Radio Times) over three issues starting on 12th April 1969. Part 3 was featured in issue 264 published on 26th April 1969 – see below.

This interview has never been available in English, so I salvaged all the relevant magazines and translated it.

Official photographs of the meeting are online here – although there is no mention of Konstantin, and the photos are dated to 25th March – yet in the interview Miles says he met Lennon on a Friday – which would have been the 28th.

This is part 3 (final) of the 10,000+ word interview… part 1 is here… part 2 here

First page of the 3rd part of the interview in issue 264 of Studio magazine.

(continued from last issue)


Interview by Izbor editor Konstantin MILES with the most famous Beatle JOHN LENNON (part 3)

He died in a bag!

J. LENNON: — Don’t think that we haven’t thought about it and discussed it. Just don’t think that any intellectual snobbery or the thought of doing something “square” would deter us from the intention of getting married, a real marriage. We’ve talked about it a lot, Yoko and me. You know, many things that the Establishment does are bad, awful and disgusting, but there are also many things that ordinary people do, and they are disgusting, ugly and wrong. On the other hand, the Establishment also has its positive sides, it has some foundations, so to speak, which are built on good intentions. I think that the wedding ritual is essentially a good ritual: symbolically and emotionally. Intellectually, spiritually, Yoko and I were “married” even before this. We lived like it for a year. Before we got our divorces, we were happy (sic). But one day, when that happened, a guy came and told us: “There, now you’re finally free!” Until that moment, we didn’t know that we weren’t free before that. And yet, when that man told us that, we felt as if we got rid of a burden, the burden of not belonging to ourselves but to others: me to my first wife, her to her husband, do you understand? Something opposite and similar to that happened when we got married the other day. The ceremony itself, the very ritual of our marriage, all of that — although it all came down to the fact that the man asked me: “Do you take this woman to be your wife?” to which I replied: “Yes, I do!” — the ceremony itself, that ritual, it was all very emotional. So emotional that Yoko cried and I only just held back the tears. Yeah, I almost burst into tears. I mean: love should not be approached intellectually. Love is an emotional process and the emotional part of getting married… I mean the ritual itself and putting on the ring… that was just wonderful. I think that marriage and putting on of rings… that these are things that existed before the Establishment and before “squares” existed. I think that it is a primal ritual deeply innate to man, and therefore something beautiful. And not only beautiful but also functional. It gives, it offers a man something intangible, something that cannot be described in words. When we got married, Yoko and I suddenly felt different. That evening when we flew and arrived in Paris, we felt different. And that’s just because some stranger said: “Now you are man and wife!” We lived together for a year before that. Both before and after our divorces, we felt good, very good. And yet, when we got married, something happened. Maybe some kind of superstition, maybe some kind of deep-rooted prejudice that was smouldering in us. Something changed and we suddenly became happier and somehow calmer.

K. MILES: — You didn’t, of course, get married in a church?

J. LENNON: — No, no! But, if we were attracted to the church ritual, maybe we would get into that too. In fact, I somewhat prefer the church to the state, to some extent. Although they are essentially one and the same.

K. MILES: I don’t think there is that well-known psychological love-hate relationship between you and your audience. Because you don’t allow the audience to press you with their tyranny. You refuse to conform to the image that the audience has of you, and so you are constantly freeing yourself from its influence and tyranny. Tell me: do you really care about your audience?

J. LENNON: — I care about myself first, and only then about the audience. I can’t do the reverse. I know what happens to stars who give in to the public. I had the opportunity to see such things. I saw Elvis Presley and many others spin in circles because they’re afraid of the audience because they’re afraid of how they’ll react if they change their style and I don’t know what. I’m always rushing forward, ahead of the audience. But don’t think that this is some sort of “policy” or “tactic” of mine, because then it would again be about yielding to the tyranny of the audience in a slightly different way. I believe that every artist must constantly go forward for his own sake, that he must not stop at any moment. A few years ago, we The Beatles experienced first-hand what it means to go round in circles. There is something you must not pay attention to, something you must not worry about: the fear that you might lose the audience. I lost a lot of my audience when I started living with Yoko, and now I’ll lose even more because I married her. I lost a lot of the audience before, before when I was just a Beatle. Just remember my statements about Christ! (Lennon said that The Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ. K. M.) But I can’t care about the opinions of 12-year-old girls. That would be a waste of time.

K. MILES: — But 12-year-old girls are no longer your audience anyway…

J. LENNON: — Yeah, yeah, of course, they are not, but they used to be. When we left Liverpool, we lost the audience. The Liverpudlians thought that we were theirs, that they owned us, and they got very angry when we went to Manchester. And the people of Manchester were not happy when we went to London, just as later the English were not happy when we went to America. The Americans were angry when we, instead of America, preferred to go on tour in Japan. Everyone wants to own us, but of course, they can’t, because we don’t allow it. Amongst other things, and that’s why, because as soon as someone owns you, they start to despise or belittle you. And that’s why, because then you depend on their mercy. That’s why, to return to the question you asked me, I don’t pay much attention to the audience. I create songs, and so let the audience buy them if they like them or not buy them if they don’t agree with them… I already know that I will come up with something that will please both me and the audience.

Centre spread of Lennon interview in Studio magazine – with lyrics and photo of The Quarrymen.

K. MILES: — Yes, of course, you’ve always succeeded so far. But let’s go back to your success. When Napoleon was crowned, he showed the crown to Paulina, his slightly silly and cheerful sister, with whom he got along the best… he showed her the crown, winked and said: “We did it, little sis!” It’s just like he said: “It worked!” or “We’re on our way!” I think this is one of the most humane and sympathetic anecdotes about Napoleon.

J. LENNON: — Yeah, yeah.

K. MILES: — So now tell me nicely how you reacted when you realised that it “worked” for you on a global scale, huh?

Everyone can become their own Napoleon

J. LENNON: — Well, it was like this. Our fame escalated. When one of our records reached the top of the charts in England for the first time, we thought that we were at the peak of success, that we had “pulled it off.” Then we thought the same thing when we conquered America… we thought: “Now we really are at the top! We can’t go any further!” And when we thought that, we threw ourselves into buying anything and everything: we bought cars, we bought massive amounts of chewing gum, you know. We thought we’d succeeded. But then we realised that we hadn’t succeeded, you understand: that we hadn’t… how can I say… that we hadn’t reached the end. We realised that it is not enough to succeed, that you can’t stop, that you’re not allowed to stop… you understand. Well, just last night, just last night, Yoko and I talked about our act, I mean about our marriage and about this happening of ours for peace… we weighed up everything positive and everything negative about it, the good and bad. We talked about it for ages. And then this morning, around five o’clock, before dawn, Yoko and I winked at each other and said: “We succeeded!” But, we know that this is also something temporary, you understand. That in three months we will have to do something completely new. It’s good that you mentioned Napoleon. In his time, to “succeed” meant to gain control, the physical control over a situation. I’m going after something else. Actually, I’m not “going” but striving. I would like to gain influence over people’s opinions…

K. MILES: — Thought control…

J. LENNON: — No, that’s not what I want. I wouldn’t like to gain power or control over people’s thoughts, but something the other way around. I would like people to free themselves from the control to which they are subjected in the modern world. I’d like to free them from that. And I think that today everyone can become their own Napoleon. Just if they want.

K. MILES: — I have to ask you about something you yourself said. Please don’t think my question is rude. I read that one of your “projects” — and that is a very brutal and raw word — that one of your projects is to conceive a child right now, during these seven days that you are demonstrating for peace. You said that yourselves, and so that gives me the right to ask without too much risk of appearing indiscreet.

J. LENNON: — So (he laughs) it’s not really a “project.” I had journalists at a big press conference here in Amsterdam the other day (there were probably two hundred of them)… so the journalists asked me all kinds of questions and I thought it would be appropriate to tell them what Yoko and I will do here in Amsterdam, we’ll conceive a child. But, I must tell you immediately that we are not making any special efforts. (he laughs). I don’t really know what the special efforts to conceive a child would be. But, I think it would be poetic and romantic to conceive during our public event, which is dedicated to peace. And it would also be wonderful if Yoko fell pregnant in these circumstances, in these conditions, when we are physically and spiritually in such excellent shape. In seven days, we will return to everyday life, to our everyday routine and duties, to a completely different life. A person is not always in the same mood, in the same good mood. Everyone, even during the same day, goes through periods of good and bad moods. We are in an excellent mood constantly now. And that’s why we think it would be nice to conceive a child right now. Only, as I said before, we’re not making any special efforts to do it (he laughs).

YOKO LENNON: — I actually received a nice letter today. Some married couple asked us that, if we make a child now, we should definitely write to them about how we did it. (Yoko Ono, John Lennon and K. Miles all laugh).

K. MILES: — We laugh at that, but maybe that letter is also touching. It must have been written by some people who can’t have children. It exudes touching naivety and even goodness.

J. LENNON: — And I got a different letter: that two people, who get along as well as Yoko and me, that such people should not have children. One more myth. In any case, we’ll wait and see.

K. MILES: — I don’t know if you have “seen through me” yet. You know I love your music, I love it very much. I feel, I know that it means a lot, that it represents a lot. But I don’t know much about music. I understand just a little bit. Besides, I’m not an artist but a journalist.

J. LENNON: — But working in journalism too… let’s take creating questions for an interview like this… that’s an art too. I wouldn’t know how to do that.

K. MILES: — If you tried, you’d see that you can. But, tell me what does music actually mean to you?

J. LENNON: — I think that music for me… how can I say… is my secondary activity. Paul and I often say that music is our hobby. Of course, I’m exaggerating a bit. I would say, to be completely honest, this: music is simply a part of me, a part of my being, a natural part of me, like, let’s say, my hair. But it is nothing special to me. And that’s why, even though you don’t understand music, we can communicate nicely.

K. MILES: — You’ve said something like this several times: “People can’t live without illusions!” But what are your illusions? And can they even be illusions if you know that they are just that?

J. LENNON: — Admittedly, I don’t remember saying that, but I believe in it, so I guess I said it. And as for illusions… I don’t know what to think… well, I think that maybe everything is an illusion… that the Buddhists are right when they say that the whole world is an illusion… that man exists only if he believes in himself and, first of all, if someone else believes in him. There, that’s what I think. And I also think that everyone needs illusions so that we can communicate.

Why does he consider this interview more important than 20 others?

K. MILES: — Let me now ask you a question that I don’t really like to ask, but in this case, I will make an exception, because I am really interested in your answer. What do you know about my country? Do you have any impression about it?

J. LENNON: — I know that you have President Tito and that you are different from other communist countries, that you do not allow anyone to give you orders, that you are independent, that you are creating your own type of socialism. I think that Yugoslavia is the best of the socialist countries. You know, I believe in socialism, and not in capitalism.

K. MILES: — Derek Taylor told me that…

J. LENNON: — I believe in socialism and I believe in the politics of coexistence. I believe in your country and that’s why I consider this interview more important than twenty others. I believe absolutely in socialism, and I believe that I could have lived happily in Yugoslavia if the dice of fate had determined that I should be born there instead of in England.

K. MILES: — Perhaps this could be said about you: you are a socialist by conviction, and a citizen of the world by your actions and by how you feel about that, eh?

J. LENNON: — Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Just to be clear: I don’t consider Harold Wilson to be a socialist (laughs). I believe in true socialist principles.

K. MILES: — Do you have a vision of a world where you could be completely happy?

J. LENNON: I do not believe in the possibility of achieving absolute, complete happiness unless you unite with god or whatever we are used to calling god. I think god is electricity.

K. MILES: — Electricity?

J. LENNON: — Yes, I believe that god is a force, a natural force, no way and by no means a being. It is a state… if you like… the only state in which total happiness is possible.

K. MILES: — You seem to believe in some kind of pantheism, ha?

J. LENNON: — What is that?

K. MILES: — Pantheism?

J. LENNON: — Yeah, pantheism.

K. MILES: — Well, how can I explain it to you: it is, let’s say, when god is everything, when he is not a specific being, something like that…

J. LENNON: — I think that god is a force, like electricity or magnetism. It’s a force… you know like a natural physical force… and there are forces everywhere… in god or Tom Jones, you know. The closest thing we could do here, in this world, to get closer to “god”, would be to create lasting peace. Peace and social equality.

K. MILES: — But, tell me about the craziest thing you’ve read in the newspapers lately.

J. LENNON: — I don’t know, to be honest, I don’t know. Crazy? In which sense? Let me think about it, because I think I’m starting to get the point. So, the craziest thing that appeared in the newspapers lately was the reaction to the marriage of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. I mean to say: it was an absolutely crazy idea to write about it in the newspapers. And they even put photos. Imagine: printing photos of two people in bed on a honeymoon. Totally crazy! (he laughs)

K. MILES: — Today we have quite an interesting social phenomenon in the field of men’s fashion. Older “squares”, and that… please… who else but American businessmen… people from whom one would least expect it… try to dress like the Beatles, wear “the Beatles look” and so on. How does that affect your sense of humour?

J. LENNON: — So, at first, it made me laugh, but then I thought about it. I think that it’s good, I think it also breaks down the Establishment. Otherwise, everyone should dress how they want.

K. MILES: — Even American businessmen?

J. LENNON: — Yeah, even them too. This can only help them to get out of the straitjacket that they live in, to get rid of the shackles.

K. MILES: — OK, would you like to describe your typical day, if there is such a thing? The question is not meant to be particularly deep…

J. LENNON: — So, my typical day really doesn’t really. For example, when I’m in London, it looks something like this: I open my eyes around 10 o’clock, then I read the newspapers, then I go to the office, see what’s new in the office, then I make films, then I check how those films are going, then I check how our records are doing, then I check how my books are doing. I return home around 9 o’clock in the evening, stare at the television, go to sleep, open my eyes at 10 o’clock… and so on, and so on.

K. MILES: — In one interview you said this: “I don’t really know what talent is. The most important thing in success is willpower. Everyone can succeed.” Sorry, but that is pure Horatio Alger.

J. LENNON: — Horatio Alger? Who is that?

K. MILES: — You are too young to know. He was the author of a series of novels that propagated the American dream that any shoeshine can become a billionaire. Americans honestly used to believe that. Not today though.

J. LENNON: — Now I understand. I wanted to say that everyone can become what they want, if they just want it hard enough and if they are given the chance. Otherwise, I really believe that talent is a myth.

K. MILES: — Don’t, please! I wouldn’t be able to compose any kind of song even if you threatened to kill me!

J. LENNON: — You would, you would, if you just wanted hard enough and sincerely enough to compose it and if you wanted to communicate with someone in that way.

K. MILES: — Maybe I could write some kind of poem… if I really wanted to pass on something, and poetry is still the strongest medium of communication…

J. LENNON: — I think that film is.

K. MILES: — You just reminded me. What’s happening with your 8 film projects? You’ve been getting some nasty criticism recently.

J. LENNON: — So, Yoko and I made four films together that will be shown soon. We’re having difficulties with their distribution because they are not commercial. But, we believe that we’ll show them soon. Apart from that, The Beatles will probably finally make a film this year, where they will all perform. It just needs the most appropriate form, you know… Making films is the most important thing to me. The music just comes after that.

“Mr and Mrs Christ…”

K. MILES: – It is said that you will play Christ in one film.

J. LENNON: — No, I haven’t received any offer in that sense. I only know about that because I read it in the newspapers. I think it went like this. That man, who was supposed to make that film… it’s something for British television, did that man (as I think) really intend to offer me that role at first? Only, he didn’t say anything to me, but he let it leak to the press as a rumour… like a test balloon. When he saw how the Establishment reacted wildly to it, when he saw how the press reacted…

K. MILES: — … he shat himself…

J. LENNON: — That’s right. In any case, I’m just guessing, because I didn’t talk about it with him, that man, he didn’t contact me in any way. Shame, because I think I would have accepted the role.

K. MILES: — Why?

J. LENNON: — Because I think it is an interesting story, you know, and then (laughs) I look like him… and we are somehow the same age.

K. MILES: — He was, if I’m not wrong, 33.

J. LENNON: — I’m 28, but that’s not important. In any case, I think I would very, very happily do it.

K. MILES: — Well, when I look at you like this, I think you’d be very suitable for that role. Besides that, there was a theory published recently that he was also married.

J. LENNON: — Yeah, I read that. The film could have been called: Mr and Mrs Christ.

K. MILES: — But, there is talk about the breakup of your group, I mean, The Beatles?

J. LENNON: — That’s been talked about since we’ve existed, you know. A few years ago I made my own film, Paul wrote the music on his own for his film, George was in India, where he studied Indian music, and where Ringo’s been, I don’t know. In any case, we’ve been flying all over the place, and even then there were rumours that we were falling apart. It’s like that now. There’s no question about any Beatles break-up. We would never think of looking a gift horse in the mouth, as the English proverb says. We believe that The Beatles still have great potential as a band, that there are many reasons why we should stay together.

K. MILES: — We’ve come to the end of the interview. Would you like to give me a definition of John Lennon?

J. LENNON: — Well (laughs) I would say that Lennon is a shaggy, grumpy “peacenik” (nickname for a “hippy” who demonstrates for peace K. M.)

K. MILES: — And your epitaph?

J. LENNON (laughs): — He died how he lived: shaggy and grumpy. Or: “He died in a bag!”


(Co Studio And K. MILES. Recordings / photos: ANP, Amsterdam)

The front cover of issue 264 of Studio magazine featured the ballerina Maja Dijaković Srbljenović.

I am very grateful to Vanja Radovanović in Zagreb for providing me the scans of the interview from his copy of this issue of Studio magazine – more here. Without his help, I would not have realised that there were two preceding issues that contained the rest of the interview, and therefore I would not have been able to complete the whole translation.

Konstantin Miles interviewed John and Yoko once more in 1971 here., and Ringo Starr in early 1970 here.

(Of course my translation will not be a perfect representation of Konstantin’s original transcript/audio recording since this has seemingly been lost.) Apparently Konstantin did send a final draft of the interview to John for approval – see below:

In July 1985 the interviewer Konstantin Miles was interviewed by Denis Kuljiš in Studio magazine:-

DK: Surely your most famous interview was with John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

KM: I had two interviews with them. The first was when I found out through some fellow journalists in London that Lennon was travelling to Amsterdam with his wife. I was just about to buy a Burberry coat, but instead, I spent that money on a plane ticket and went to the Netherlands. I was asked for a visa at the airport there, but I didn’t have one. They took me to a supervisor who was a civilized native of Papua, very kind, who allowed me to stay. I found Lennon in a hotel, through his press manager, who allowed me to stay for ten minutes and talk about the act of lying in bed by which John Lennon and Yoko Ono were protesting for world peace… However, I stayed for three hours. I somehow managed to get a very good vibe from him, he was a very bright, and actually very handsome man. When I told him he was a pantheist, he didn’t hesitate at all to ask what that was. Yoko Ono was lying in her nightgown, and he was in his pyjamas, we were talking, whilst the head of the press kept winking at me to go out… Then Lennon threw him out of the room.

DK: When did you have the next interview?

KM: The Beatles had just split up, and Lennon had bought a house in Epson. In the beautiful ambiance, there was a white piano – Lennon played on it with one finger and sang to me. I intended to go and meet him in New York, for a third interview, but he was murdered in the meantime. He was pleased with our first conversation, he had said that it was one of the best he had given for a newspaper. I did send him a translation of the interview, it was about 40-50 pages long…

DK: Has everything been published?

KM: Only one part.

DK: Did you ever think of publishing a book of your interviews?

KM: Nobody made me an offer, and I didn’t want to. I’m quite lazy.

(Konstantin Miles died in 1989, he had no heirs because his son and daughter died before he did, both committing suicide. Konstantin’s widow died in 2017)

On a lighter note, in 1969 John and Yoko posted 2 acorns to Yugoslavia’s President Tito (1 of 50 world leaders at the time) to be planted as part of their quest for world peace.

John Lennon Hilton Amsterdam 1969 interview in English – part 2

On 28th March 1969, just days after their wedding in Gibraltar, Konstantin Miles spent three hours interviewing John Lennon and Yoko Ono in the Hilton Amsterdam Hotel during their first bed-in for peace. This interview was published in the Yugoslav weekly TV, radio and entertainments magazine Studio (similar to the BBC’s Radio Times) over three issues starting on 12th April 1969. Part 2 was featured in issue 263 published on 19th April 1969 – see below.

This interview has never been available in English, so I salvaged all the relevant magazines and translated it.

Official photographs of the meeting are online here – although there is no mention of Konstantin, and the photos are dated to 25th March – yet in the interview Miles says he met Lennon on a Friday – which would have been the 28th.

This is part 2 of the 10,000+ word interview… part 1 is here…. part 3

First page of part 2 of the Lennon interview in Studio magazine.

Hilton Amsterdam Hotel

Interview by the editor of Izbor Konstantin MILES with the most famous Beatle John LENNON (part 2)

THE WORLD IS A BIG “PARTY” (continued from the last issue)

“Starting over with Yoko!”

K. MILES: — And now a tired, cheesy, overused question: What has in fact been the key to your success? What do you think: could you do it again?

J. LENNON: — But I’m in the process of repeating it with Yoko right now. I still don’t know if it will work for me. Time with tell.

K. MILES: — Does this mean you’re starting all over again? You know the system: sponge in hand, erase everything that was and start from the very beginning.

J. LENNON: — What I’m doing with Yoko is like starting from the very beginning, as if nothing existed before. And it’s not easy. Well, we only just got our joint record Two Virgins out on Apple itself, where people reacted very violently against it. At least at the start. Now they don’t think so. And then the things that Yoko and I create together… these things are so ahead of their time… so to speak… so “crazy” in the positive sense of the word… that even the power I supposedly have in our organisation is not enough for me to do everything the way I want. And that’s why I feel like I’m starting all over again because I have to fight my way through. Of course, it’s all very exciting and fun. Yoko and I have started a new career together. Us two.

K. MILES: — Good. And the other Beatles?

J. LENNON: — Each of them is doing something individually… for example, Ringo is making a film… However, we will continue to create as a group, as The Beatles, because The Beatles are a power, and that means influence. I have joined up with Yoko. I have started a completely new career. And it’s just like what you mentioned in your question: I’m starting all over again. Admittedly (he laughs), I’m starting from scratch, but as a child of rich parents.

K. MILES (addressing Lennon’s wife): — I have to give you a slightly double-edged and somewhat old-fashioned compliment. From the context, you will see that I am sincere and well-intentioned. So, you’re simply not photogenic. You are actually an attractive and beautiful woman, even very pretty, and in the photographs, you look… better that I don’t say what you look like. There, I couldn’t resist telling you that.

YOKO ONO: — That’s very nice of you to say that. Thank you.

J. LENNON: — You know, some photographs of Yoko are good, but there are very few.

K. MILES: — I have to admit, as harsh as it may seem, that I haven’t seen a single one of those good photos. At least not in the papers and publications that pass through my hands, and there are a lot. (Turning again to Yoko Lennon). We have to come to terms with the fact that you are simply not photogenic.

J. LENNON (relentless): — I have seen a few of her beautiful photos, but only a few.

K. MILES: — So, Mr Lennon, I really have no words to praise your artistic achievements. I admire you, honestly, I really do. You, yourself, said that words are too clumsy a communication tool, and even more so because I have to communicate in English. However, I must repeat that I admire you. What you’ve done in music is fantastic, magnificent. Don’t think that I like to throw around empty compliments, but I can’t resist comparing you to Picasso in one thing: like him, you also have a fantastic ability not to repeat yourself, to constantly introduce something new into your creativity, to constantly surprise people. You let the pack follow you, chase you, but when your competitors seem to have caught up with you, you come out with something completely new and unexpected. Let’s throw overboard (as the English say) false modesty and similar philistine stunts. Let’s talk openly, with cards on the table. So try to explain to me (after all we talked about communication difficulties)… try to explain to me how you actually create. There is a nice joke about it. “Lennon whistles to McCartney, and McCartney whistles back to Lennon. That’s the whole secret.” That quip reminds me of something Johann Sebastian Bach said about the secret of his masterful organ playing: “It’s very easy for you. You just have to press the right key at the right time!” Come on, tell me how you create: for you, for example, is the act of creation a process of the intellect (that is, something deliberate) or an emotional, perhaps even instinctive, impulsive process?

Centre spread of issue 263 of Studio magazine, 1969.

J. LENNON: — You know, there are certainly intellectual moments. We all suffer from intellectualism. However, my main opus is primitive. Picasso needed forty years to become a primitive painter. I was born a natural primordial primitive, and so was Yoko. And so was Paul. We were born primitives, but at one stage we almost didn’t become intellectuals. The greatest part of our music is emotional. It is written music… how can I say… “from the air,” you know. I listen, I hear, I think, and then I create…

K. MILES: — Please, say that again. That is very important.

J. LENNON: — I lie down and I listen. I hear some melody and then I work it out. The best music is created when it comes to you by itself, when it comes naturally. However, of course, if I have… as you journalists say… a “deadline”… let’s say when I just have to write three songs by Monday… then I’ll come up with them. Or, more often, I have certain vague, hazy ideas in my head, ideas that I have collected, songs that I’ve “heard” but have not set to music. So if, let’s say, a “deadline” is coming, I look at what I have in the archives of my head, so I can easily “cobble together” two or three songs at a time if I really have to. Sometimes such songs are good. But the best are the ones that come to me “out of thin air.”

K. MILES: — You never say to yourself, for example, something like this: “Let me create something completely new! Let me shock the audience!”?

J. LENNON: — No, absolutely not, not at all! For me, what is new comes naturally, by itself… I mean, I never set out to create something new. I open something, and then it comes out as new or it doesn’t come out. There, that’s it.

K. MILES: — You are an excellent poet. Your poetry would hold up even without music. Do you think the audience understands you? What happens to your sense of humour when, for example, you read the pompous dissertations of professors, mostly from American universities, who swarm over your poetry like moles and discover some hidden messages in it?

J. LENNON: — It’s certainly fun to read how these “professors” talk about some kind of hidden messages that they deciphered in my songs, it’s a shame that they don’t study adverts or texts on toilet paper rolls as carefully, because I’m sure they would have discovered all kinds of hidden messages there too. About my songs and their messages, and also about my music, I think this: every song I write, every song I compose can mean to each person what he himself finds in it, so it can mean something different to each person. Of course, if you really look for it and if you’ve got it in your head, you can find hidden intellectual messages in each of them. Just like, if you put in the effort, you can find symbols in every, most banal, room. If you get it into your head, you will find them. However, if you don’t look for them, you won’t find them. You either see them or you don’t: it doesn’t depend on me but on you. Why do these professors see them, these American professors, why them exactly? Because they imagined that they liberated themselves from their snobbery, their intellectual snobbery, they think they are no longer snobs. But they’re wrong. They are still snobs. What’s going on with them? Some simply pretend just to make themselves important. The others are looking to justify themselves for liking The Beatles’ music or for being attracted to our poetry. Only, as intellectual snobs, they cannot stomach that music and poetry as pop music or as folk music or as primitive music. No, they have to find another, more worthy justification. And they find it. They say: “This music is essentially intellectualistic: this music, in fact, means so-and-so, it has a so-and-so (certainly intellectualist) message!” They don’t have the strength to say: “I simply like this music, just like any fourteen-year-old child likes it!” They are looking for an excuse to be able to enjoy an art that is new to them.

K. MILES: — They join in like 100% “squares” (something like philistines). And that’s why in your poetry and music there are elements that are “square.”

J. LENNON: — Yes, that’s it, that’s it.

K. MILES: — One more tired question: What is the bank balance of your success? If you add up all the positives that success has brought you and subtract all the negatives — what’s left?

Happy are those with money and those without it the rest live in hell

J. LENNON: — So, it is positive that I have an influence and that I can use that influence for things that I like, that attract me… to try to influence the youth, for example. Various small things act negatively, for example, I can’t walk down the street like an ordinary person, and so on, things like that. Of course, the positive sides of success far outweigh the others. But there was a time, there was a phase… when it seemed like The Beatles were going round and round… there was a time when it seemed like all that success, everything we’d achieved, was a waste of time. We discovered then that money was not the answer to what we were looking for, for what we cared about. We discovered that not even fame was the answer. It seemed that neither fame nor money had any meaning to us except that they represented something that we had longed for before and then it disappointed us. We got what we wanted to get, and then it suddenly lost its meaning, you understand.

K. MILES: — This is a very old truth, at least when it comes to money, and to fame.

J. LENNON: — Money was not very important to me even when I didn’t have it. I wasn’t unhappy not to have it. And when I got to it, I suddenly realised that it doesn’t make sense by itself, you understand. Now I see that money and fame can make sense, because they allow you to do things like this, to exploit them for propaganda. They allow you to be free. My philosophy is this… that is, my point of view, my experience, if you will: people who have a lot of money are free, and those who have no money at all are also free. Whilst those in between… they live in hell.

K. MILES: — Judging by your own story, and the story of the other Beatles… there is something almost… how should I say… something almost eerie about The Beatles. You almost seem to exist as one body with four heads or perhaps as four bodies with one head. Please don’t think that I’m trying to be sarcastic…

J. LENNON: — I don’t think that.

K. MILES: — Allegedly, you don’t even talk, but communicate without words, using a coded speech of small, invisible to other people, signs…

J. LENNON: — Yes, almost like that.

K. MILES: — I guess I’m too stupid to get it, isn’t that another joke, more Beatles’ tomfoolery?

J. LENNON: — No, not at all. We communicate without many words as musicians and as friends. Of course, we also talk a lot. But you have to take into consideration that we’ve been playing and singing together for more than ten years. Right on the musical level, it is enough for me to just look, in a certain way, let’s take to Paul, so that he understands clearly as back of his hand, that this and that will happen, that he needs to do this and that. And vice versa. Otherwise, when it’s not about music, we really have nothing to talk about, again because we’ve known each other for so long, you know. Everything else is just talking, gossiping, not communicating. I don’t really think there are many things worth communicating about. We repeat ourselves countless times in front of each other, which is also a second-rate type of communication. Otherwise, I can safely say that between us, The Beatles, precisely because we spent so many years together, a kind of telepathy was created. Certainly, the fact that we stayed together for so long means that there is something between us, not just a common success that would bind us. There must be something more. Because otherwise, if you put five (sic) people in a room and keep them there for five years, they’re going to go crazy or kill themselves, and that didn’t happen with us. That’s why the connection, which you described as a deep connection between us, exists, it certainly exists. Maybe it’s about empathy. I discovered the existence of such a deep, primal bond between me and Yoko too. The connection between us is also telepathic and almost magical: we literally do not have to use words to understand each other, to communicate. When one of us two says something, to the other or the other also thinks the same. And my relationship with The Beatles is also like that. We all think alike, and not only in the field of music. I think that is very good.

Telepathy, or vibrations or waves of emotions

K. MILES: — You were recently interviewed by David Frost on independent London TV. I was not in London at the time, but I did read an abridged transcript of the interview. You tried to explain your views on vibrations, “waves of emotion” as you said. You said that everyone emits such invisible waves and radiations. Is this some kind of telepathy? In any case, you are very excited about it.

J. LENNON: — I, you know, could not give it any specific name. I think telepathy is a nice word, but only because most people can understand it, because they can use it to get some sort of idea of what it’s about. When it comes to “vibrations,” I cannot find a term to describe this phenomenon. It’s just like someone asking you to describe electricity. You know that it exists, so if you put a light bulb in a lamp and turn on the switch, it will glow, so electricity is there, it exists. That can still be explained somehow. But if I try to describe my electricity that is radiating towards you as I speak or your electricity that is radiating towards me… or if I try to describe the electricity that occurs between me and Yoko… or those invisible radiations that everyone’s spirit emits… if I try to explain, I become powerless. And that’s the only reason I use words like telepathy, or vibrations, or waves of emotions… because it’s so elusive that it can’t be described in words. I know it exists because I’ve experienced it, but I can’t describe it. Just like I can’t describe the taste of chocolate.

K. MILES: — Yes, yes, I understand you completely. But, do you feel my vibrations? Answer that question as sarcastically as you want.

J. LENNON: — Yes, of course, I feel them, of course. And I believe that you feel my vibrations too. You know, for me it is a very fascinating, exciting subject. Here’s what I think about it: the world is a big community, a big “party,” gathered in one single room, do you understand? The world is, therefore, one big community that has gathered in one room, and it’s just a very sad community, unhappy. And what am I trying to do? What am I striving for? I trying to be that happy guy, that good-humoured, cheerful guy, who shows up at that sad “party,” where everyone is grumpy, the guy who shows up anywhere with a funny, fake nose or starts cracking jokes. What happens when a guy like that turns up? The atmosphere immediately changes, it gets more cheerful. But it could also be a different situation. Someone comes to a good mood company — moody or aggressive, you understand. Someone comes in that kind of mood and I immediately feel their vibes. Not just by his face, his scowling face, because there are cunning guys who know how to hide their true emotions so that they don’t show them on their faces. But you feel the coldness that emanates from them. There, that’s what vibrations are for me.

K. MILES: — In that same interview with David Frost, you presented some interesting thoughts about art. You and Yoko. Would you now explain them to the Yugoslav readers who, of course, did not have the opportunity to see the television show?

J. LENNON: — I can’t remember exactly what I was talking about then. I remember the important thing, which was what Yoko said, something that I deeply believe in and keep repeating. Art is communication, and communication is art. Everything is art, and art is everything. Usually, “art” is, so to speak, a word from journalistic jargon, a label, but it seems that human beings feel some kind of deep, primordial need for labels, they like to be told: “This is art!” “This is poetry!” I think such labels make no sense. I think that everything is art, that every communication is art. That’s why a copy of a newspaper is also a work of art, as is your interview… and that’s because it’s communication.

K. MILES: — Would you describe yourself as a happy man? I’m not asking that inanely. For example, there is the question of the picture on the cover of Sergeant Pepper’s (The Beatles are standing over a grave, and below it is written “The Beatles are dead!”). But, of course, it’s not just about that. Maybe it was just a “stunt” or that’s how you wanted to say that one phase in your history has passed and a new one is coming, that you have become new, different Beatles. It’s about something else. For example, about the change that can be seen on your face. Whilst I was preparing for this interview, I made an effort to look at your old photographs. At that time you all looked kind of cheerful, almost mischievous. Now your face is sad, somehow melancholic. Maybe I’m wrong…

The only true happiness – meeting Yoko

J. LENNON: — I think I am much happier now today than I was in the Sergeant Pepper phase. And the photographs taken before that, before Sergeant Pepper, those photographs should not fool you. They were taken and chosen like that because we had to look happy and cheerful in them. These were simply photographs intended for publicity, and at that time, our publicity machine wanted us to look cheerful. Even then, we didn’t like to “fool,” to pretend, but we had to. And that’s why we even tried to look happy and cheerful whenever we saw a photographer nearby. In the first photographs, I even had a somewhat boyish face, and the photographers seemed to like it, so they highlighted it everywhere. And now about happiness. I’m happier today than I’ve ever been, because I’m in love for the first time in my life and because I’m having a wonderful time with my wife, you know. And I am happy because of the work I do and because of the actions I’m doing, such as, for example, this action for world peace. Today, in fact, I am happier than I have ever been, I can honestly say that. However, I still believe in the saying that “those who do not know are happy, that ignorance is the greatest happiness.” Because the more I think about what the world is like today, how difficult it is to even survive as a human being in it, let alone be happy when I think about it, I become sad. Maybe it’s the sadness that comes with age, ageing, so again something you have to think about. That is why my claim that I am happier today than ever should be taken with caution because it does not mean that I am completely happy, you understand: I am just happier than I have ever been or I am less unhappy. People once said: “Oh, how happy The Beatles are! How lovely it is for them!” And I tell you that the only real happiness I’ve had in my life was meeting Yoko. Everything else was what I had to do, everything else was hard work.

K. MILES: – I see that you are a very honest and open man. That’s why I have to ask you one question related to this marriage of yours. Tell me: don’t you have the impression that the fact that you got married, that it was a “square” act, huh?

(To be continued)

Issue 263 of Studio magazine featured Croatian singer-songwriter Ibrica Jušić on the cover.

Konstantin Miles interviewed John and Yoko once more in 1971 here., and Ringo Starr in early 1970 here.

(Of course my translation will not be a perfect representation of Konstantin’s original transcript/audio recording since this has seemingly been lost.) Apparently Konstantin did send a final draft of the interview to John for approval – see below:

In July 1985 the interviewer Konstantin Miles was interviewed by Denis Kuljiš in Studio magazine:-

DK: Surely your most famous interview was with John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

KM: I had two interviews with them. The first was when I found out through some fellow journalists in London that Lennon was travelling to Amsterdam with his wife. I was just about to buy a Burberry coat, but instead, I spent that money on a plane ticket and went to the Netherlands. I was asked for a visa at the airport there, but I didn’t have one. They took me to a supervisor who was a civilized native of Papua, very kind, who allowed me to stay. I found Lennon in a hotel, through his press manager, who allowed me to stay for ten minutes and talk about the act of lying in bed by which John Lennon and Yoko Ono were protesting for world peace… However, I stayed for three hours. I somehow managed to get a very good vibe from him, he was a very bright, and actually very handsome man. When I told him he was a pantheist, he didn’t hesitate at all to ask what that was. Yoko Ono was lying in her nightgown, and he was in his pyjamas, we were talking, whilst the head of the press kept winking at me to go out… Then Lennon threw him out of the room.

DK: When did you have the next interview?

KM: The Beatles had just split up, and Lennon had bought a house in Epson. In the beautiful ambiance, there was a white piano – Lennon played on it with one finger and sang to me. I intended to go and meet him in New York, for a third interview, but he was murdered in the meantime. He was pleased with our first conversation, he had said that it was one of the best he had given for a newspaper. I did send him a translation of the interview, it was about 40-50 pages long…

DK: Has everything been published?

KM: Only one part.

DK: Did you ever think of publishing a book of your interviews?

KM: Nobody made me an offer, and I didn’t want to. I’m quite lazy.

(Konstantin Miles died in 1989, he had no heirs because his son and daughter died before he did, both committing suicide. Konstantin’s widow died in 2017)

On a lighter note, in 1969 John and Yoko posted 2 acorns to Yugoslavia’s President Tito (1 of 50 world leaders at the time) to be planted as part of their quest for world peace.

John Lennon Hilton Amsterdam 1969 interview in English – part 1

On 28th March 1969, just days after their wedding in Gibraltar, Konstantin Miles spent three hours interviewing John Lennon and Yoko Ono in the Hilton Amsterdam Hotel during their first bed-in for peace. This interview was published in the Yugoslav weekly TV, radio and entertainments magazine Studio (similar to the BBC’s Radio Times) over three issues starting on 12th April 1969.

This interview has never been available in English, so I salvaged all the relevant magazines and translated it.

Official photographs of the meeting are online here – although there is no mention of Konstantin, and the photos are dated to 25th March – yet in the interview Miles says he met Lennon on a Friday – which would have been the 28th.

This is part one of the 10,000+ word interview… part 2part 3.

The first page of the interview in Studio magazine with John Lennon and Yoko Ono by Konstantin Miles in the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel on 28th March 1969.


Editor of Izbora Konstantin Miles recently had an interview with John Lennon in Amsterdam, the most prominent of The Beatles. K. Miles is the first journalist from any socialist country to interview The Beatles.


I had prepared for this interview for a full four months. It was promised to me right away during my first attempt to do it back in November of last year when I first visited the headquarters of The Beatles, Apple Corps. However, at that time, The Beatles were not giving any interviews to anyone, absolutely no one, for some reasons that were convincingly explained to me and which I accepted as being personal.

At the end of January, I again visited Derek Taylor, the all-powerful Beatles’ press officer. I had only come to make arrangements for a later meeting. At that time Taylor told me: “Do you want to meet John today? You know, he’s thrilled with the idea of being interviewed by a communist journalist.” I said no. “I don’t want to do just anything.” I phoned Taylor in mid-March, a few days after returning from Paris. I said that I would be in London again in the last week of March.

However, when I arrived at Apple I was in for a shock. Lennon had suddenly decided to get married and travelled from England to Gibraltar, whilst Taylor’s wife gave birth to their seventh (sic) child the night before I arrived. At Apple, only the regular secretaries remained on the scene, and they could not tell me when Lennon would return to London. The next day I got Lennon’s message from Taylor saying that I should wait for him in London or that I should fly to Amsterdam. I decided to travel to Birmingham the following day, for a day, for an interview with Richard Chamberlain, the former Doctor Kildare, and the day after that I took an English plane to Amsterdam. That was on Thursday. On Friday, around four o’clock in the afternoon, I found Lennon in an apartment in the Hilton Hotel, the only large building that uglifies beautiful Amsterdam.

Lennon surprised me. He has a very sharp and intelligent look, a voice as if made for some kind of political tribune, a voice that amazes with its energy and penetration, but that did not surprise me, but something else: his unusually mild appearance. At times, Lennon turns into an almost curious boy. This man with no complexes does not hesitate to ask such questions that might give the impression that he is ignorant. Only, he can afford it. Both as a brilliant composer and as an excellent poet. And (if it even matters) as one of the most famous people on our planet.

KONSTANTIN MILES: — A few months ago, London’s Daily Telegraph published the results of a poll about the most influential British people today. It wasn’t just some run-of-the-mill survey with hundreds of thousands of readers, but with the most prominent journalists, sociologists and publicists who were questioned. That poll showed that The Beatles are the most influential, by far the most influential British people today… influential where it is felt, where it counts: influencing the way of life and thinking. Far behind you, the famous television interviewer David Frost took second place. Harold Wilson was, I think, ninth or tenth, I don’t remember exactly. This is, let’s say, detail number 1. Detail number 2: the American weekly Time (and you or I can think what we want about it) wrote: “Only Hitler has affected people this way. When The Beatles speak, hundreds of millions listen.” Detail number 3: a few months ago, you published a photograph of yourself and your current wife on the album cover of Two Virgins. You were both naked, from the front and the back. Of course, these three details are not connected, but still… I’d like to ask you my first burst of questions. The first question would be something like this. The result of the Daily Telegraph poll actually represents what the English call an “understatement”… let’s say a half-truth… because you are amongst the most influential people on our planet.

JOHN LENNON: — Thank you.

K. MILES: — I know or I assume that you are not consciously trying to be influential. So when that’s the case, tell me how your sense of humour reacted to the results of that British poll and the article in Time (if you read any of it)?

J. LENNON: — So it’s really funny to be compared to Hitler. On the other hand, it’s not at all wrong for me to have that influence that you’re talking about… right now. Because I definitely want and try to use it… right now, specifically now, for the cause of peace. But otherwise, no offence, don’t pay too much attention to what your colleagues write…

K. MILES: — I certainly can’t accuse myself of harbouring any illusions about…

J. LENNON: — You know, one week they write one thing, the next week another. Maybe in a few days, they will start writing that we are the most unpopular and least influential people in the world.

K. MILES: — But, what about you, John Lennon, what about you as a person — or as an artist or as a global figure… what pleases you the most… what do you like the most about the influence you have? Of course, you cannot deny that influence.

J. LENNON: — I don’t deny it. I also don’t deny that I use it, you know. I like that I have it, and I like it because it, that influence, gives me the possibility to use it to achieve some things that I consider good.

K. MILES: — One is the fight to preserve world peace, I know that. But I guess there are also other things that you are fighting for with your influence?

J. LENNON: — I think peace is the most important thing of all. And after peace, there are some things, some other goals.

K. MILES: — For example?

J. LENNON: — Some social things. That, first of all, that.

K. MILES: — More precisely, please. What for example?

J. LENNON: — Well, for example, I would like to change the way people eat and to change the education system. In the old days, in the past, people in power kept the people in submission in such a way that they did not educate them. Today they oppress them in other ways. For example, they oppress them by feeding them bad food and so prevent the development of human abilities, human intellect, and spirit. Maybe the bigwigs don’t know that the capacity of the human spirit can be increased with a better diet, maybe they know it, but they won’t increase it, because they want to keep people in submission. However, if one day they realise that if they feed people properly instead of feeding them with chemicals, production will increase… maybe they will do something to improve the diet of the masses.

K. MILES: — However, you didn’t tell me how that poll in The Daily Telegraph affected your sense of humour… the English humour, whose first rule is that no one should take themselves too seriously. I was thinking about that.

J. LENNON: — That struck a nerve with my sense of humour, especially when I heard that comparison to Hitler.

K. MILES: — And now we come to the famous photograph. I saw it… I even saw a huge enlargement of it on the wall of an office at Apple, at Derek Taylor’s. So, it seems to me that there is something almost… let’s say… something almost philosophical about that photograph (which I don’t consider lascivious at all, because you both look so ordinary, so everyday, so average, that the photograph seems almost modest). So, I think that this photograph has a message, a very primal message, connected to a deep-rooted human instinct… one real universal instinct: a primal man shows his contempt for ‘X’ or ‘Y’ by showing them his bare backside, to “photograph” him as our children say. But, in today’s photo-sexual escalation, the buttocks are no longer interesting at all. That’s why you took the photograph of the two of you from the front… to show contempt, defiance… isn’t it?

J. LENNON: It is obvious that a living person can be photographed in many ways. It is also obvious that everything that you do can be interpreted in a hundred ways. Let’s say, you can be photographed like this or like that… let’s take it like we did… and then let it be known: “Shame on you who think this is an obscene photograph!” Do you understand? I don’t think that photograph was obscene. It only became that in the eyes and heads of those who are themselves obscene. On the other hand, in it, in that photograph, there is indeed contempt, you noticed it exactly, absolutely right. It in there is contempt for the philistine attitudes towards nudity. In it there is contempt for human stupidity and prejudices. And that means… therefore… that in it there is contempt for the “Establishment” (the ruling class) because the Establishment also thinks dirty.

K. MILES: — But also, when we’re already talking about your enormous influence, I have to quote you something that you won’t really like. It’s about something that I read about you in Ramparts, one of the few American magazines that I respect. Only, I’m afraid you won’t like this quote.

J. LENNON: — Just read it nicely.

K. MILES: — So Ramparts writes: “The Beatles come out in front of the world with their whining sayings of their harmless values — All You Need is Love — whilst the kids are building barricades in the streets, and cops are smashing their heads in with truncheons and rifle butts!”

J. LENNON: — We’re telling the protesting youth that we do not believe in violence, physical violence, that we do not believe in a revolution that is created by violence. There have been various revolutions so far in history. They achieved certain successes, they helped people to improve their standard of living in a certain way, to a certain extent. But, at the same time that was not all. From a spiritual view, they did not achieve what they might have wanted to achieve. In fact, I don’t think that any revolution has achieved exactly what it set out to achieve, what it was carried out for. That’s why I say to the youth of the world: If you are already protesting, and you have to protest, do it in a peaceful way, without violence. My role models are Gandhi, Dr Martin Luther King and Christ… and some others. I believe in the law of action and reaction, one of the fundamental laws of nature and the world. I believe that the motivations of the children who are erecting barricades in the streets, I believe that their motivations are good and noble, absolutely correct, and I am completely on their side. I’m on their side, and I’m not sure that I wouldn’t have done the same if I were in their situation. But, I believe that violence begets violence… and if the violence is not started by cops, someone in the crowd will start it. I think like this: the ruling system needs to be changed, but by infiltrating it and draining it from the inside. Don’t break it… er… don’t tear it down, smash it, break it, because this generation can’t afford to spend half of its life or more building what’s broken. It is necessary to act from the inside, inside the system. After all, most of the people who make up the Establishment today will be dead in 15 to 20 years, and then we, us, will be the Establishment, and we will rule. And because of that, what sense does it make to build barricades, and break pavements to get projectiles, what sense does it make to riot against the cops when the main goal, the main target of the fight, is the system itself? The system and common way of thinking of most people. That needs to change. By that, I don’t mean to say that the way people dress or live or spend their leisure time should be changed. These are all just superficial things. The way people think needs to change, the spirit of the people needs to change, you have to get into the Establishment, infiltrate it, and then from there start building a new world. (Editor’s note: Perhaps with this Lennon explained why the Establishment accepted and even supported The Beatles).

K. MILES: — I think I understood you. I just have to warn you about something. There is no real revolution without violence, without the use of violence. Everything else is just an illusion. What you said about revolutions, it can pass… only revolutions do not bear fruit to the first generation, but to the second, the third. But, we were talking about the cops, the police. In connection with them, I must ask you to explain to me a somewhat strange phenomenon. In the last few months, the cops have been frequent, almost regular visitors to your London flat…

J. LENNON (laughing): — Oh yeah, yeah, that’s right…

K. MILES: — …so the cops come regularly to your flat, but also the flats of the other three Beatles. They come with their dogs that then sniff through your home looking for cannabis…

J. LENNON: — Yeah, they sniff, damned sniffing (laughing).

K. MILES: — So, they sniff around looking for cannabis and most of the time they find nothing…

J. LENNON: — Well, it can’t really be said, they sometimes find something too… albeit a little, very little (laughing).

K. MILES: — Yes, I read: a gram, or so. OK. But how do you explain these frequent visits to yourself, ha? Did it occur to you that these police officers might actually be your secret but passionate admirers, cops who are simply taking advantage of their position and their rights to get close to their heroes, ha?

J. LENNON (laughing): — Of course, you’re joking. No, I don’t think that this new phenomenon has such a nice and funny explanation, although your theory is by no means “irrelevant.” I think it’s about something deeper. You know, to tell you the truth, the cops and whoever from the Establishment commands them… er… they have known for a long time that we take drugs. It was never any kind of secret. We’ve said it publicly, clearly and loudly. And yet, nothing happened to us. Someone in the command chain, someone was protecting us… of course for some reason of their own and some motives of their own. And then that protection that we enjoyed, that protection from the top that allowed us to publicly admit that we were taking drugs without anyone calling on us… then that protection was suddenly suspended, quashed, lifted. Why did it happen? Because we showed them our real flag! And now about the cops who come to us as regular visitors. It’s really about the same cops, but maybe that’s because they only have ten cops who know something about cannabis and only two dogs that can smell it. In the whole of the police force: ten cops and two dogs. We already know these cops and the dogs well. But let’s get back to your theory. I think that the main cop who is chasing and hunting us, I think that the main cop is one of those cops who collect scalps, that he is a scalp hunter. He’s got the Rolling Stones’ scalp. He wants people to say about him: “He catches them all, they can’t escape him.” He only chases scalps. He doesn’t care what happens to us after he’s caught us. The main thing for him is that he caught you, that he has just caught you. He gets fame as the bounty hunter of famous people.

K. MILES: — You know, when I asked you this question, I actually wanted to paraphrase something that the late Brian Epstein had said to the press when you didn’t want to perform in the Philippines at an event organised by the president of the republic there. Epstein had then said: “Uh, these statesmen! Those guys only care about making themselves important in front of their kids by knowing The Beatles and how they talked to them!” I wanted to paraphrase what Epstein had said and relate it to the cops who so regularly… let’s say… visit you.

J. LENNON: — Yeah, it’s a similar thing. Because those cops are really hunting for scalps, the scalps of famous people. There are plenty of people who smoke cannabis in London, and the cops know it well. However, for the policemen, it’s better to arrest John Lennon or George Harrison, you know. He becomes more famous that way.

“OK! We opened the windows and created a draught…”

K. MILES (laughing): — But let’s get back to your great, huge influence. No one, not even your worst enemies… but you actually have no enemies, because even the Establishment loves and adores you…

J. LENNON: — Hey, easy, you’re not right there!

K. MILES: — How am I not right?

J. LENNON: — There are many people who hate us and who would prefer to liquidate us, who can’t wait to get rid of us.

K. MILES: — OK, there are plenty of people who hate you. But still, even your greatest enemy cannot deny that the changes that you have brought about through your influence are substantial, indeed great. At the very least (and I’m leaving your music aside) you freed the youth from the shackles of social traditions, you brought refreshing suspicion and doubt towards the God-given authorities, you taught the youth to despise conventions, to fight against hypocrisy. Let’s be clear: a moment ago I actually quoted an American, to put it mildly, conservative magazine. In fact, and these are my words, I think it could almost be said that: The Beatles opened the windows and brought in the fresh air of social change, but they didn’t even touch the building itself. It would almost be said that you were afraid of your own influence and that’s why you fled to Indian philosophy, to guruism, to transcendental meditation, to some… I must say… crazy projects about buying some Greek island… and that… please… after a colonel’s coup d’état. In your semi-official biography, someone said about you: “The biggest change in John is the drop in his aggressiveness.” Maybe this question isn’t fair, maybe it will seem mean to you, but I don’t think I can pass it by.

J. LENNON: — So, that’s a hell of a big question, by God! Let me think. What was that at the beginning…

K. MILES: — I was saying that with your influence you’ve helped the youth to free themselves…

J. LENNON: — OK. So, we opened the windows…

K. MILES: —… but you didn’t even touch the building…

J. LENNON: — Yes. I think you noticed that correctly. Only, it is consistent with our policy of infiltrating enemy structures rather than demolishing them. OK, let’s go back. So, we opened the windows, created a draught, so that the fresh air of change enters the house. OK! We also opened the door and let all the people, the young people, enter the house after us. OK. However, after some time, after a period, after we made a good draught, the wind caught us and carried us in a circle. That lasted several years. And then we stood still for two years, we were static, you understand? That happened to us… yeah… that happened to us. And that’s when it was the most dangerous for us. That we almost got lost in the Establishment… that we almost let them suffocate us… suffocate us as people, as individuals, do you understand? You need to know this to understand the incident with the Maharishi and the search for islands to buy and live on: we were doing all of this just to find ourselves again. Because we were lost in everything that happened with us when we became a concept, a global concept, as The Beatles, do you understand? And so that’s how we were searching for ourselves. We didn’t run away from anyone or anything. We could have found ourselves simply by looking in the mirror, but we didn’t want to. We looked for ourselves elsewhere, searched alone for ourselves, followed our sense of smell, our nose. And that took us to India. You know… no matter what was said and written… India benefited us a lot. Granted, George and I were the only two Beatles who actually stayed there. The other two didn’t. They just visited us and then went home, you know. George and I stayed there for three full months during which we meditated for hours and hours every day. And that turned out to be useful. No, it cannot be denied that it was a great spiritual exercise for both of us. Besides that, it taught me many things, which I did not know before. First of all, I learned that everyone is their own “guru”… you know: “guru” means “teacher”… so, everyone is their own teacher. After all, didn’t Christ and Muhammad… if I’m not mistaken… didn’t they say, teach something similar: that everyone can be a prophet? Yes, we are all prophets, we the people. OK. So, I had an excellent spiritual time in India, staying in my room for hours every day and meditating. It was great after two years of furiously rushing around. I came home spiritually refreshed, and then I met Yoko and, as you know, I began a new career.

The difference between The Beatles and The Stones

K. MILES: — When I asked my question, I was actually interested in some other things. However, it doesn’t matter. This is how I found out some interesting information about you, and we will come back to that later, when we talk about The Rolling Stones. However, you’ve started having a falling out with the authorities, that is, with the Establishment, only recently. Just a few years ago, Paul McCartney was the announcer at a concert attended by the Queen. In his announcement, he said something very nice: “Will the people in the cheaper seats clap your hands, and the rest of you if you’d just rattle your jewellery!”

J. LENNON: — Paul didn’t say that. I said that.

K. MILES: — In any case, it was a great “stunt.” That’s how those who were asked to rattle their jewellery understood it. They just enjoyed it! You were their darlings, their pets, and if you had bored them, they would take it as something extremely witty and great. On the other hand, The Rolling Stones were brutally persecuted from the very beginning. They are, I know, your friends. Come on, honestly: why the difference? Why were The Rolling Stones pariahs, “outcasts” from the very beginning, and you weren’t?

J. LENNON: — In fact, in the beginning, no one persecuted The Rolling Stones. They appeared a short time behind us and were met with more or less the same reaction. At that time, we were also called “long-haired,” “shaggy,” and “grubby,” do you understand? However, we infiltrated the Establishment stronger and deeper than they did, or if you will, we made greater compromises… in order to gain more power, do you understand? You know: we’re not The Stones. We are different, you know. The Stones are perhaps street fighters. I am not, you know. That was the basic difference between us. And so the Stones performed their moves in front of the public, you know. Only, they don’t do it like they used to. Trust me… although it may not look so… but they always used to play their cards, they knew how to play them, just like us. This is exactly why they should be thankful that they are still on the scene, that the Establishment did not manage to liquidate them. In any case, they expertly used all the publicity that it brought them. If today you compare The Stones with, let’s say, Jim Morrison, if you compare American and English bands today, The Stones come out as — reactionaries. Why? Because those bands came after them. So it happened that we looked slightly more reactionary than The Stones because they came a little after us. And everyone who appeared after The Stones made The Stones look like reactionaries compared to them, you understand?

(To be continued)

Copyright by Studio. Photographs: United Press (today ANP)

The cover of issue 262 of Studio magazine published on 12th April 1969 featured actress Olinka Berova (Olga Schoberová).

In this issue both George Harrison (with Pattie Boyd) and Ringo Starr appeared:

George Harrison’s run in with the law…. a piece about Barry Ryan and the New Musical Express top 20!
Ringo Starr dancing with Mia Farrow at the Dorchester in 1968.

Konstantin Miles interviewed John and Yoko once more in 1971 here., and Ringo Starr in early 1970 here.

(Of course my translation will not be a perfect representation of Konstantin’s original transcript/audio recording since this has seemingly been lost.) Apparently Konstantin did send a final draft of the interview to John for approval – see below:

In July 1985 the interviewer Konstantin Miles was interviewed by Denis Kuljiš in Studio magazine:-

DK: Surely your most famous interview was with John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

KM: I had two interviews with them. The first was when I found out through some fellow journalists in London that Lennon was travelling to Amsterdam with his wife. I was just about to buy a Burberry coat, but instead, I spent that money on a plane ticket and went to the Netherlands. I was asked for a visa at the airport there, but I didn’t have one. They took me to a supervisor who was a civilized native of Papua, very kind, who allowed me to stay. I found Lennon in a hotel, through his press manager, who allowed me to stay for ten minutes and talk about the act of lying in bed by which John Lennon and Yoko Ono were protesting for world peace… However, I stayed for three hours. I somehow managed to get a very good vibe from him, he was a very bright, and actually very handsome man. When I told him he was a pantheist, he didn’t hesitate at all to ask what that was. Yoko Ono was lying in her nightgown, and he was in his pyjamas, we were talking, whilst the head of the press kept winking at me to go out… Then Lennon threw him out of the room.

DK: When did you have the next interview?

KM: The Beatles had just split up, and Lennon had bought a house in Epson. In the beautiful ambiance, there was a white piano – Lennon played on it with one finger and sang to me. I intended to go and meet him in New York, for a third interview, but he was murdered in the meantime. He was pleased with our first conversation, he had said that it was one of the best he had given for a newspaper. I did send him a translation of the interview, it was about 40-50 pages long…

DK: Has everything been published?

KM: Only one part.

DK: Did you ever think of publishing a book of your interviews?

KM: Nobody made me an offer, and I didn’t want to. I’m quite lazy.

(Konstantin Miles died in 1989, he had no heirs because his son and daughter died before he did, both committing suicide. Konstantin’s widow died in 2017)

On a lighter note, in 1969 John and Yoko posted 2 acorns to Yugoslavia’s President Tito (1 of 50 world leaders at the time) to be planted as part of their quest for world peace.

Chess Olympiad commemorative catalogue

The 9th Chess Olympiad – Nations Tournament of 1950 was held in Dubrovnik, Croatia in 1950 and the team of the hosting country – FPR Yugoslavia – won. This catalogue of the exhibition published by Dubrovnik Museums commemorates this special occasion in the history of chess.

The exhibition catalogue is a superb commemorative edition.

The book features the whole story of the competition, the competitors, the ceremonies and the results. The highlight of this edition is the catalogue section of the postage stamps, first day covers, postcards, posters, chess sets – the Dubrovnik set later became a standard – and much more that were issued during and after the tournament.

As the English translator for the catalogue it was especially interesting to learn about the event and particularly about the philately part because I was an avid stamp collector as a schoolboy 🙂

The authors of the text are Tonko Marunčić and Zdenko Krištafor.
You can follow Dubrovnik Museums on Facebook here
…. there is more info about the tournament here.

15 Years of the Croatian Museum of Tourism

To celebrate 15 years of the work of the Croatian Museum of Tourism in Opatija a small press conference and exhibition was held in the Grand Hotel 4 Opatijska Cvijeta on 23rd November 2022.

To commemorate the extensive work of the Museum over these 15 years a superb 212-page book was printed packed with information about every poster, catalogue, collection, exhibition, publication, project and much more that it has been involved in.

As the English translator I am honoured to have played a small part in the Museum’s story for the last few years.

Published by HRMT. Texts by the Museum’s director Mirjana Kos, graphic design by Branko Lenić. Translation by Martin Mayhew 🙂
ISBN: 978-953-7601-78-2

John Lennon – How I Won the War interview in English

The 3rd January 1967 issue of džuboks (i.e. Jukebox) magazine (no. 9!) published in Yugoslavia (Belgrade, Serbia) featured a short 2–page spread interview with John Lennon by Zdenko Hirschler (Hiršler) in Spain during the filming of How I Won The War. It was during this period that John wrote the song Strawberry Fields Forever. I think this is the first time the feature has been translated.

Issue 9 of džuboks published 3rd January 1967
Pages 26-27 featured a short interview with John Lennon

The photos featured were taken by Hirschler and are seemingly some of those in a batch of 200 previously unseen images auctioned in 2016 after the photographer’s death. Lennon is photographed here with co-actor Roy Kinnear and playing cricket. Reports from 2016 say that Zdenko Hirschler was Austrian, however, I haven’t found any information about him online. The article says that he worked for the NME – again I cannot find any info….




An exclusive interview with The Beatles’ John Lennon in Spain

Do you recognise this face?

You probably thought: Peter Sellers before he was married. Or maybe a Chaplin impersonator? Or a chap serving his military service?

All your assumptions are wrong: it is him, JOHN LENNON, the one whose days amongst The Beatles are, perhaps, numbered.

He knows that himself!

I met him in a small town on the Spanish coast, where he is shooting the film How I Won The War, which is being directed by Richard Lester (Help, A Hard Day’s Night).

“Look”, says Lennon “in a few days, I’ll be twenty-six years old. For the last six years, I’ve lived like a Beatle. It was a nice life, full of good laughs, but it can’t last forever. Now I’m trying to do something else. A few years ago I tried to paint, write and sculpt.  Now acting is next. It’s funny. It’s hard. It’s different. When I see myself on the big screen, I will be able to say something more about my future. Then I will know if this is the ‘right’ thing for me!”

“Did fatigue force you to take such a step? Is it tiring to be a Beatle?”

“Oh, no, not at all. That is something else. It’s like finishing school on time. It’s a problem for all of us. George was in India recently, walking and shopping, and learning to play the sitar (an Indian musical instrument). Paul bought a new house in north London. The house was built in 1830 and Paul doesn’t hide his joy that the house is one of the most beautiful in England. Now he’s thrown himself wholeheartedly into decorating the interior and doesn’t think about anything else. Ringo recently visited me here in Spain to make sure I was actually making a real, serious film. Each of us has faced the same dilemma, not a problem, but a dilemma: what to do in the future? We often get together and talk about that future and never see it as the future of The Beatles!”

“Why did you cut your hair?”

“It was of big importance for my role in the film. Hair has nothing to do with the future. In the film, I play the role of an English soldier named Gripweed, and in that time of action, soldiers had short hair. I had it cut in Germany…”

“Well that’s awful, the fans must have been upset?”

“Not at all! At first, I felt very strange, but I also immediately saw the good sides of doing this. I was able to calmly walk down the streets and no one recognised me as a Beatle. Not the press, nor the fans. It’s like suddenly finding freedom. When Paul went to Paris for the weekend, no one gave him any peace. They saw him with that hair of his and went after him, followed him, asking for his autograph. Nobody recognised me. Of course, apart from when I was with the others. People then logically concluded (people are so intelligent today) that it was me!”

“And the glasses?”

“I didn’t wear glasses then, only contact lenses. Contact lenses are more practical. I hate glasses because I’m always losing them. It’s a problem for all of us in the crew: I’ve lost more than a dozen pairs so far. They brought along a total of twenty of them, so I hope I’ll have at least one pair by the end of filming.”

“When will the filming be finished?”

“Altogether the filming lasts ten weeks. We filmed for four weeks in Germany, the rest here. It’s lovely here, warm, quiet…”

Also staying with John Lennon here in Spain are his wife Cynthia and three-year-old son Julian. The family lives a peaceful life and no one disturbs them except Richard Lester.

Lennon’s working day begins at seven in the morning. Like the other actors, he has to be on set at 7:30. For weeks now, Lennon has been working all day, although he often says that he is “certainly one of the laziest people in England.” His laziness excludes activities such as talking, reading, listening or watching. He always enjoys it, these are the mental activities that he has been engaged in for the last few months before the start of filming.

Lennon does not have any kind of privileges during the filming. He is just one of the actors amongst dozens of others. He, of course, has his own chair and sits there during the long intervals and playing cricket with the other boys from the crew. Cricket is part of his role and he oddly enjoys it.

A Spanish journalist asked him an unusual question: if by some chance he were not a human being, which animal would he like to be?

“A cat”, he said with a smile, “a beautiful, big, well-fed, lazy cat!”

Lennon has to be on set even when his scenes are not being filmed because Lester is constantly changing his ideas and wants to pass on those changes to him at all times. In the uniform of the soldier Gripweed, Lennon is far from the long-haired, carefree and well-known Beatle. In his big military boots, baggy trousers and glasses he seems like a tiny, pathetic figure constantly exposed to the whipping wind in the desert where the film is being shot. I asked him a question:

“Will you ever find your way back to The Beatles? In this place, it seems that you are further away from them than ever…?”

“There’s no doubt about that. Nothing dramatic will happen to us in the near future. We are great friends and in January, we start shooting our new film together. Ringo stayed here with me recently, and soon we will meet up with Paul and George. I still make joint plans despite the fact that we are getting older every day and no one can be a Beatle when they turn thirty… You see, I took on the role in this film because at that time, as a group, we didn’t have any kind of commitments… So don’t worry about our unanimity, friends!”

Zdenko Hirschler (Hiršler)


This issue came with an A3 colour poster of The Beatles – one shot from the “trunk” session (there was no free flexi disc with this issue).

Original film poster from 1967

More Beatles here

The Beatles – džuboks magazine

džuboks (i.e. Jukebox) magazine was a very popular Yugoslav music magazine first published in 1966. 16 early issues came with free flexi-disc singles in unique sleeves that were glued to the last pages of each magazine. Of course The Beatles featured heavily throughout the 60s issues and the song Hello Goodbye was one such single attached to issue 23 in 1968 (see below) Some issues also came with pull-out posters.

I am gradually collecting all the 60s issues. These are the ones that have The Beatles on the front cover that I’ve collected so far. More to come 🙂

džuboks Issue 3 published 3rd July 1966.
Issue 3 featured a piece about the political and cultural impact of the group on society, as well as photos of them with British Prime Minister Harold Wilson and a Cavern photo with Pete Best.


džuboks Issue 15 published 3rd July 1967.

This issue (15) featured a 2-page spread written by Goran Kobali about the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Included was a flexi-disc of The Easybeats Friday On My Mind.

Pages 12-13 have an article about the Sgt. Peppers album


A few days ago Paul Jones stated that pop music is experiencing a constant decline and an increasing stagnation. The picture looks a lot brighter now since the Beatles released their new LP SERGEANT PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND. After listening to Sergeant Pepper’s I thought about what had happened in pop music in the last few months.

First of all, ballads and beat-music compositions, most of which were created just for the sake of making money, have dominated. There was a progressive expansion of interest in genres: oriental sounds, folk music, a creative return to classical music, novels, vaudeville style and musical “stealing” of earlier experiments by some more progressive groups.


The teenagers of 1963, who at that time were delighted with beat music, are now older, with a more refined taste and incomparably more experienced in many things. Pop music can still provide them with what they’re interested in. It is now clear to everyone that The Beatles have survived primarily because they were able to penetrate all the pores of music with equally powerful results. Amongst the generations who admired Tommy Steele, Vera Lynn, Bing Crosby and many others, today there are devoted followers of pop music.

Everyone knows that today there is a new pop group that has blatantly decided to concentrate its commercial activities on one of those groups. Those who created the group The Monkees do not deny that they have done so. The compositions of this group have been carefully modelled on the early style of The Beatles, uncreatively but skilfully processed. Their first record Last Train to Clarksville, faltered in England and then sky-rocketed against the competition because The Monkees began appearing on television every week in their own series of short films. Today, The Monkees are the idols of young people up to the age of 15. Due to the lack of anything more significant, this is their year. One gets the impression that their songs were written on an electronic typewriter into which two old Beatles LPs and an old book of Oxford nursery rhymes were inserted.

Starting with Yellow Submarine, it has generally been a period of children’s songs: Rain On The Roof (The Lovin’ Spoonful), Simon Smith And The Amazing Dancing Bear (The Alan Price Set), Ha Ha! Said The Clown (Manfred Mann) and Puppet On A String (Sandie Shaw).

The Beatles return hope to the progress of pop music

The text of a composition is as important as the music itself. An example of this is the group The Bee Gees and their composition New York Mining Disaster 1941, then The Animals (When I Was Young), and Cat Stevens (Matthew and Son). Social discussion helps pop songs and some of them are deservedly in the competition. Bob Dylan’s mocking and slightly lazy voice, as well as the ballad-type folk songs he loves, are still being copied. The folk song is still an integral part of pop, which can be seen in the success of the group The Dubliners and their hit Seven Drunken Nights.


The Beatles’ new LP Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band proves that all those genres have a future. Two songs are semi-ballads: Fixing a Hole is cold, romantic and harmonically reminiscent of the melodies of Yesterday and Michelle; She’s Leaving Home is a light waltz reminiscent of an old musical comedy with a classically distorted accompaniment for harp and string quartet and with an ironically intoned text about a minor family tragedy. There is also a harmonious vaudeville song When I’m 64 which talks about the setbacks of old age. George Harrison’s composition Within You, Without You contains the air of Indian folk music, with strong hints of the Indian atmosphere even in some of the Lennon-McCartney compositions.

There are also fantastical lyrics full of intrigue, asymmetrical music in Lucy In The Sky with Diamonds as well as the sound effects in Lovely Rita who is a traffic warden, then A Day In The Life, which has been banned by the BBC due to its association with drug use (very topical in Great Britain at the moment). The song Lucy talks about “tangerine trees and marmalade skies” as well as a “girl with kaleidoscopic eyes.” The melody of Good Morning, Good Morning is reminiscent of a novel, whilst the simplicity of the bass in the song With a Little Help From My Friends is similar to pop music from five years ago.

Each of these pieces is more creative than any composition that can currently be heard on pop radio stations. Compared to what other groups have been doing lately, the Sgt. Pepper’s LP is superiorly expressive. As a constructive critique, a kind of musical classic that studies direction, this record corrects or removes dissonance and undisciplined work and suggests which way to go. The new search is represented by the title song Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, its reprise and Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite! These three songs give the final shape and completeness to this record.

Goran Kobali


džuboks Issue 13 published 3rd May 1967.

Issue 13 of đzuboks featured a double page spread written by Henri Gris about the release of The Beatles single Strawberry Fields Forever / Penny Lane in the USA, the accompanying promotional films and the reaction of record companies and the public.

Also included in this issue was a flexi-disc of The Rolling Stones Ruby Tuesday 🙂

The Beatles on pages 10-11 of džuboks 13.



On 13th November 1966, the London newspaper The Sunday Times wrote: “In some sense, what was best about The Beatles’ music was the expression of the cheerful exuberance of a complex group of attractive young men. Maturity, the disappearance of collective narcissism and the development of personal interests have contributed to the destruction of their phenomenon…”

Today, no one can say that The Beatles are back because they never went anywhere. No one can say that they are back at the top because they never gave up. Here’s a story that took place over two continents and that helped bring The Beatles back to the centre of attention.

The colossal calculating machine in Hollywood’s famous Capitol Tower couldn’t have found a worse time to break down. The Beatles’ new record was selling like hotcakes across the USA. Of course, during the first few days, the daily sales reports were able to confirm quite a few significant orders and, by looking closely at the electronic crystal ball, people were able to predict with a high degree of certainty how a record would sell for the next two weeks.

To make things even better, the American television show Hollywood Palace broadcast a filmed version of the record, a real little movie gem shot in bright and eye-catching colour. After the appearance of The Beatles on television, the orders began to rise sharply. However, it was not possible to calculate at what rate. Unfortunately, the calculating machine was not working. And so, for one whole week, the fate of The Beatles in America depended on experts who were in a hurry to fix the electronic crystal ball as soon as possible.

This had to be done as soon as possible because the company was very interested in The Beatles’ first long-play record of 1967. There were managers everywhere: in Pennsylvania, Jacksonville, Florida, Los Angeles, California, and they were ready to get down to business. They were waiting for a telegram from the Capitol Tower telling them when they would receive the precious copy of The Beatles’ tape arriving by special aeroplane from London.

“It seems to me that there hasn’t been such anticipation for three full years, since the first record by these boys”, said one of the heads of Capitol Tower. The breakdown of the calculator contributed to the real drama. However, we were sure of one thing. All the uncertainty about The Beatles’ future had gone.

At that time, no one addressed us about the disintegration of their group. It seemed that everybody knew the answer.

Amazingly, the two four-minute film excerpts that were used as a visual counterpoint for the two Beatles interpretations – Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever – were enough to resurrect the clouded image of these four idols of contemporary youth and dissuade all those who wished to inherit them into the hearts of the young generation. The Hollywood Palace is a Saturday night television show that is mainly watched by adult television fans. During that time, young people go out – to the cinema, for a walk, meet friends. But, on that exceptional Saturday evening, millions of young men and women stayed at home, went to friends or a pastry shop to watch a television show. In a sense, they represented the jury that was to judge all those who contributed to them who doubted The Beatles’ reign. Disturbed by the news of the band’s breakup, they felt they needed something to reassure them. After this television show, one young man said: “It was that simple. We’ve all grown over time, that’s all.” Millions of young men and women confirmed his opinion.

Viewers of the popular British television show Top of the Pops had seen and heard these films even earlier, however, the Americans then saw them in luxurious colour. Either way, the films served as an excellent advertisement for The Beatles’ tunes.

The producers of The Hollywood Palace show, which has about 35,000,000 viewers, once offered Brian Epstein a large sum to host the fab four in the famous Hollywood theatre. The answer was no. And then, some time ago, they were told they could have The Beatles – but on film. At first, they were not enthusiastic, but when they saw that The Beatles had changed their appearance – all four had moustaches, and George Harrison even had a beard – they agreed. So, The Hollywood Palace gained the right to present the “new” Beatles in colour to the wider public.

These two films were filmed in and around London, as well as around Sevenoaks. Busy finishing his last film in which only John Lennon starred, director Richard Lester began to grumble when he was told that the young Swedish television director Peter Goldmann had inserted a scene in which a piano was attached to a tree in his film of The Beatles. It reminded him of that piano that appeared in the middle of the snowy Alps in a sequence in the film Help. Intentionally or not, the two new Beatles films have convinced another quartet – The Monkees – that the achievements of their television series are just a pale reflection of the achievements of the fab four. However, these were probably the least consequences of The Beatles’ last “flurry”.

The most important thing was that everyone had to admit that, from a musical point of view, this talented foursome has crossed a certain boundary and that in their development from rock and roll singers they had reached new, unexplored, exciting spheres that hold a lot of promise. It’s true, John wrote Strawberry Fields Forever during the filming of How I Won the War. Paul’s idea for the composition Penny Lane represents nostalgia for Liverpool. However, all four were together on the recording of their new album and then they behaved like real explorers. As if, having grown moustaches, they’ve become ready to try new quirks. During the recording, these completed tapes were destroyed, because they came to the conclusion that the rhythm was wrong. When recording the third version, they gave it a slightly faster rhythm and only then were they satisfied.

There was a doubt that The Beatles had experienced a crisis during the last year, but today it is known that they managed to overcome it. They seemed confident, but in fact, they were four disappointed boys when the movie Help did not live up to expectations. They thought they had found the magic formula: one film a year, a few world tours, a few new records. The incident in Manila came as a rude awakening. And then, after a few months, they simply grew up.

“Last year”, says director Richard Lester, “Paul asked me: ‘Would it be awful to wake up one day as a thirty-year-old Beatle?’” It seems to me that this scared them the most.

The Beatles would not like to hear someone compare them to Elvis Presley, although, in fact, he was the first to decide to stop with concerts and dedicate himself to making records and films instead. In a way, they are creating their own version of what Presley has already done. More precisely: they’re creating four versions. We should not be surprised if the director of their new film is Richard Lester again if before the film they record several long-play records, each of which will confirm their entry into new spheres of music.

Henri Gris


džuboks Issue 21 published 3rd January 1968.

Issue 21 published on 3rd January 1968 included two interesting Beatle-related pieces – see below. Also included in this issue was a flexi-disc of Paul Jones ‘Sons & Lovers’.

A piece about Ravi Shankar by Višnjar Marjanović on page 13



Ravi Shankar is the first Asian musician who has really asserted himself in the West. This virtuoso on the sitar, an authentic representative of Indian music in its most classic and expressive aspects, is currently experiencing a series of triumphs in the USA, England and Paris, where he regularly holds concerts. Whilst his predecessors had to be satisfied with small auditoriums, Shankar fills the Philharmonic Hall in New York, the Royal Festival Hall in London and the Pleyel in Paris.

This success is an event in itself. East and West have been divided for centuries by a veritable wall of sound: their traditions were so different that each of these two worlds found the other’s music unbearably arduous. The West transferred to the East the ignorance of polyphony (and therefore counterpoint and harmony) and the total absence of modulation, that is, the variation of tone, in one particular part, while the East marvelled at the rhythmic poverty of the West, its inability to distinguish intervals lower than a semitone, its classical language limited to only two ways, greater and lesser.

Does the fact that an Indian musician is experiencing success in the Western Hemisphere today mean that the wall of sound has been demolished?

Ravi Shankar’s success provides a twofold answer to this question, which, in addition to the musical problem, also includes a social one. The artist’s audience is mostly made up of young people. During his last concert in Paris, a large number of young men with long hair and long beards could be seen amongst the attendees. That concert was attended by all the visitors of the beatnik quarter, those who draw fake Picassos on the pavements, who look for secret places to smoke marijuana, people dressed in an impossible way, in red jackets, green trousers, worn-out uniforms of a secessionist war, accompanied by skinny beauties in mini-skirts, with a wide leather belt around their waist. It is very significant that between the pages of the programme was inserted a “rock and folk” music review dedicated to pop music so that the face of the Indian sitar player could be seen next to the famous faces of Eddy Mitchell, Sonny and Cher, The Four Tops and others.

Although one part of the audience was very different from the audience that normally comes to applaud Sviatoslav Richter or Menuhin, the atmosphere was the same, unusually heated and mixed. Dressed in white, Ravi Shankar sat on the floor, on a small carpeted stage; on his right, a tabla player (two small tambourines that are played with the fingers or the palm of the hand), and on the left, a woman in a sari with a tambura, a stringed instrument that gives a real colour to the sound. As for the sitar, it is an instrument made of teakwood that has seven main strings that the musician plucks with the index finger that wears a metal thimble of the right hand and thirteen “sympathetic” strings that vibrate to give harmony and are usually played with the little finger. The sound of this instrument is weaker than the sound of the guitar and without the help of a microphone, nothing would be heard beyond the tenth row.

How do you explain the fact that the majority of Shankar’s audience consists of beatniks? The Beatles are so enamoured with the sitar that George Harrison spent six weeks in India to take lessons from Ravi Shankar. This instrument even appears in their film Help.

“My audience is mostly made up of young people”, says Ravi Shankar “because young people are more inclined towards non-western music, they have not yet crystallised into certain habits. In addition, it is easy to find something in common between Indian music and jazz: both attach great importance to rhythm and the creative imagination of the interpreter, especially since in our music, as in jazz, the interpreter improvises. An Indian concertmaster can improvise up to ninety per cent of the work he performs. However, the comparison with jazz ends there because the basis of Indian classical music is quite different. As for the so-called aphrodisiac virtues of our music, they make up only one of many aspects. There are nine basic feelings, each of which can be expressed through a piece of music, and according to Navarasa theory, they are: sensuality, comedy, pathos, anger, heroism, horror, grotesque, wonder, and joy. To awaken these feelings I do not need drugs, just as I do not need otherworldly feelings. Music is enough for me.”

Ravi Shankar does not hide his apprehension about the longevity of his success, possibly related to one of the many fashions. Young people turn to him to learn how to play the sitar in a matter of weeks. However, it took him seven years to master the technique, after which he became one of India’s most respected virtuosos. From the beginning of the ‘50s, he began an unusual mission: introducing the West to the classical musical heritage of his country.

“I began to play in front of a small circle of listeners, less than a hundred people, composed usually of Indians or westerners, fanatical devotees of yoga.”

Shankar strove for something greater, for a real concert audience. He has a wide audience today, but that’s not what he wanted. He has a secret fear that he is still exposed to the whims of fashion.

“Who can guarantee to me that young people will not suddenly start to be interested in something else? That they will leave India for Japan, that instead of the sitar they will enthuse about the koto. What will become of my audience then?”



Also in this issue was a short Q & A inset with the band on page 21. This was probably translated from an English source into Serbian for the magazine.



Q: It has been said that the Lennon-McCartney duo will one day take the place of Rodgers and Hammerstein as the authors of popular songs: have you ever thought about the possibility of devoting yourself exclusively to writing and not performing your compositions?

PAUL – No, we haven’t. Maybe at the age of eighty: then we will only write and not play. Besides that, we don’t want to become Rodgers and Hammerstein.

Q: Your band seems to be going the opposite way to Bob Dylan: you started with rock’n’roll and now you are performing music that is closer to folk songs more and more often. Where does that come from?

JOHN — It’s not quite like that, although it’s true that we’re going in the opposite direction to Bob. We are not searching for folk music, but now we are more interested in the content of the lyrics. In fact, more or less, we are all doing the same things.

Q: George, you went to India to learn to play the sitar, an Indian instrument. Do you think Indian music of the future will influence Western folk songs?

GEORGE — I hope that it will, but I’m not the one to decide. Indian music is very beautiful and I am glad that it is finding more and more followers.

Q: One question for all of you: do you ever cringe at all the noise going on around you, press conferences, screaming girls… Do you ever feel the urge to say enough and leave everything behind?

RINGO — When that happens to us, we count the wad of money, each take our share and go and spend it. When we get tired of all that, we’ll go back to work.

Q: They say that there aren’t as many fans in front of the hotel where you’re staying as there used to be. How do you feel about that? Worried? Angry?

RINGO – Very rich.

Q: Aren’t you sorry that maybe you’re not as popular as you used to be?

RINGO — The money stays the same.

Q: What kind of music do you listen to during time off?

JOHN — None of us favours one particular type of music over another. With the exception, perhaps, of George, who likes Indian music, each of us likes all kinds of good music.


Issue 33 published on 3 January 1969 featured Tom Jones on the cover, a double-page spread about the history of The Beatles, a centrefold of the White Album photos and pieces about Mary Hopkin and Tiny Tim.


In the past few months, the life of Mary Hopkin, a previously unknown girl from Wales, has radically changed. Maybe after some time, she will start to remember the carefree time that preceded all of this, maybe she will think “Yes, those were the days.”


Today Mary Hopkin lives in a completely new world. In it, the colours are bright, the sounds are louder. She still can’t get her breath back from the dizzy events that occurred after the recording of her first album, Those Were The Days, produced by the company Apple, founded by The Beatles.

Indeed, there is a huge difference between her life in the small Welsh town of Pontardawe, where she was an unknown folk singer, and the glitter of pop stardom that surrounds her now in London. Fan letters came from all over. Managers called her from all over the world. Flowers and telegrams came every day. Almost every moment is filled with recordings for radio and television shows, interviews and meetings with photojournalists. Mary now appears in the company of celebrities. She goes to lunch with Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck, shopping with Twiggy and has dinner with The Beatles.

Everything suddenly changed. She arrived in London as a completely unknown girl just six months ago.


She was born in the small town of Pontardawe, which has ten thousand inhabitants and which has already entered history as the birthplace of Richard Burton and Ray Milland. Her father is an official in the local council. She spent her childhood on the slopes of the hills that surround the town. By the age of five, she expressed her desire to sing and took her first steps as a member of a church choir. Three years ago, she got a guitar and a mandolin for her birthday. She learned to play the guitar completely by herself and began organising concerts in nearby places. At concerts, she mostly sang Welsh folk songs. Under the influence of one of her father’s friends, she decided to get to know the folklore of her region as well as possible and after achieving local success, upon the persuasion of her family, she decided to sign up for the television show Opportunity Knocks, which offers the first chances to young talents. She took first place in the contest and appeared on television for seven weeks, interpreting songs by Joan Baez on the guitar. It is said that Twiggy spotted her on television and told Paul McCartney about her. The rest is history. Paul invited her to London. She recorded Those Were The Days. Then the advertising machine of The Beatles set to work and Mary experienced huge success in a short time, even threatening the popularity of their composition Hey Jude.

“I still have only one song, a song that’s not even mine (it’s inspired by Russian folklore)”, says Mary, fully aware that she’s just getting started. “I will have to learn much more.”


Recently, Mary arranged a meeting with a female journalist at the premises of the record company Apple. The Beatles were also supposed to come. When the journalist arrived, Mary was already sitting and waiting patiently with her sister Carole. She looked fresh and attractive in a white coffee-coloured dress embroidered with folk motifs around the neck and around the sleeves.

The young singer is very unhappy with her interviews in the London press as well as in texts dedicated to her.

“They write things I never said”, she says “They ask stupid questions. For example, is there any romance between me and Paul? It’s funny to even think about it, and it’s even funnier when they say that I look like Jane Asher. I’ve seen Paul a lot, but only in the studio, during the making of the record. We’ve had lunch together several times, but there was always someone else with us.”

George Harrison soon arrived, dressed in emerald trousers, boots and a purple shirt. He was very kind to Mary. Although she had got to know Paul and John better during the first weeks of her stay in London, it was George who gave her an extraordinary guitar with the signature of the craftsman who made it.

“I only got guitars when I could buy them myself”, replied George when he was asked how his noble gesture should be interpreted. “I know what it means to have a good instrument at the very beginning. Mary is a talented musician and she needs an instrument like this. It will help her to advance.”

In the meantime, Paul also arrived. He spoke about how he had temporarily hired new advertising agents for the successful launch of Mary Hopkin’s record.

“As you know, we no longer have a manager”, he says. “We are our own managers. We’ve decided to be like that, and Mary will decide for herself whether she wants to hire a manager or use the services of our agencies. I think she has a very interesting voice and could be able to sing anything. I would like her to start singing more complex songs or ones with a faster rhythm one day. At the moment, she sings in her pure and simple Welsh voice, but I’m sure she could achieve something else. Maybe we’ll try that “something else” on her first LP, which should be released soon.”


Finally, Ringo and John Lennon appear along with the Japanese girl Yoko Ono. Until a few weeks ago, Mary would probably have been very excited to be in the company of her idols, but now she acts quite naturally. Her only admission is that she never dares to speak to John Lennon first.

“He is so smart that I couldn’t start a conversation with him”, she says.

In the meantime, she learned that The Beatles are musicians who strive for perfection, that they carefully prepare each of their records, spending nights playing, singing, repeating and refining the individual phrases. Did she also prepare her first record so carefully?

“No. We had only two meetings where the arrangement was discussed. The recording was finished in one day. I had to sing the song seven or eight times, but I wasn’t angry because I felt that it got better every time. I still can’t believe that I’ve made it. It seems to me that everything was like a fairy tale or a dream because everything happened so quickly. Sometimes, when I read the names of groups and singers like The Bee Gees, The Beach Boys, and Aretha Franklin, it seems to me that the name Mary Hopkin is so funny and ordinary. When I see my name in the papers or when I hear my record, I’m still not sure that it’s me.”

S. L.
(I have not been able to find out who “S.L” is)


Issue 1 had The Rolling Stones on the front cover. It was published on 3rd May 1966.

Although The Stones made it onto the front cover The Beatles appeared on page 1 and throughout the issue.

Dusty Springfield with John and Paul
“The commission for the review and selection of foreign films for showing in our country recently viewed a copy of the film Help, in which members of the group The Beatles play the main roles. The members of the commission concluded that the film has above-average artistic qualities and decided to recommend it to be purchased. Let’s hope that we will see this film on our screens soon.”


Issue 2 published 3rd June 1966 featured Salvatore Adamo on the cover.

Issue 2 had a small piece about Pete Best and a paragraph about Paul McCartney’s song “Woman” which he wrote under the pseudonym of Bernard Webb for the duo Peter & Gordon.


Issue 5 was published on 3rd September 1966 and on the cover were Cilla Black, Petula Clark and Sandie Shaw.

Issue 5 had a small paragraph about the Ku Klux Klan protesting about Lennon’s comments about religion:
“Ku Klux Klan vs. The Beatles”
“The Beatles’ recent tour of America agitated many people. John Lennon’s anti-religious statement at a press conference caused a wave of protests and the cancellation of many reserved tickets for Beatles concerts. The Ku Klux Klan organised the public burning of Beatles records and hair, and many angry people even demanded the burning of the young Englishmen. It’s no wonder then that it has been the most difficult tour for The Beatles so far.”


Issue 7 published on 3rd November 1996 had the very popular Donovan on the cover.

Issue 7 had a double page spread with the views of Beatles fans from Italy, Germany, Great Britain and France.

The headline is “Their music is like the beat of our heart.”
Probably the most contemporary quote is from a guy named Mauricio Salvatore from Milan, who said: “With their new record (LP) ‘Revolver’, the Beatles have proved that they can deal with all kinds of music without difficulty: from jazz to Indian music, from melodic to electronic music…” – ‘Revolver’ was released in August 1966.


Issue 8 was published on 3rd December 1966 and had The Mamas & the Papas on the front cover. Inside was in an interview with Bob Dylan by Jack Modi.

Issue 8 had a double-page spread of readers’ views on The Beatles from different parts of Yugoslavia including one from Dragana Brankov in Rijeka – where is she now?


Issue 11 was published on 3rd March 1967 and had The Who on the front cover as well as a flexi-disc of their song Happy Jack. Inside was a poster of The Hollies.

Issue 11 had a short piece about The Beatles winning more awards and gold records than anyone else from the Recording Industry Association of America.

After the The Beatles’ decision to stop public concerts, various news began to arrive from all sides. Much was assumed; “exclusive and breaking news” was in fact just baseless speculation.

Who knows how long all this would have lasted if Paul McCartney hadn’t gotten “angry” and decided to clarify The Beatles’ plans once and for all.

Paul said:

“Why don’t we go on long tours any more? The reason is simple: when we play live, none of those present can hear us because the noise is deafening. Why hasn’t our stage performance improved since we started touring four years ago? The reason: on many of our new recordings, the music is performed by a large orchestra, and it is clear that we cannot perform these songs on stage. We feel and know that people only listen to us from records, and that is why it remains our most important aspect of communication. Now there are no more time restrictions on tour dates, so we are able to devote all the necessary time to recording one song.

To the numerous voices about the disbanding the popular Beatles, Paul replies:

“We are all great friends with each other and it never occurs to us to split up. There were never any doubts about that. We are not jealous of the each other’s activities and we all look forward to our mutual successes.”

It could have been expected that journalists would be interested in the opinion of The Beatles about the declaration that The Beach Boys are the most popular international group in Great Britain. Paul said:

“All four of us are big fans of The Beach Boys. At the time of voting, we didn’t perform much, whilst they released an excellent record right at the time of the vote. What do you know, maybe we voted for them!”


Issue 12 was published on 3rd April 1967 and had Caterina Caselli on the cover. Inside was a fill colour poster of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, as well as a flexi-disc of ‘Snoopy vs. the Red Baron’ by The Royal Guardsmen.

Issue 12 featured a short review of ‘Strawberry Fields Forever.’


Issue 16 was published on 3rd August 1967 and had Grupa 220 on the cover. The free flexi-disc was Eric Burden & The Animals ‘When I Was Young.’

Issue 16 had a short news piece about The Beatles.

John, George, Paul and Ringo have been left really surprised: some of their most successful songs were recorded on a record by one of the best Italian opera singers, soprano Cathy Berberian. Of course, the news caused surprise, and perhaps fear amongst opera lovers that, instead of Verdi, Puccini and Wagner, they might soon hear the music of Paul McCartney and John Lennon in Milan’s La Scala. Cathy Berberian said that she recorded The Beatles’ compositions not to create publicity for herself but because she believes that the compositions really deserve to be put in the same order as the works of classical authors.

More sensational news: while their latest LP record Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Orchestra is conquering the world and is not falling from the top of the charts, the famous Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni has hired the Beatles for his new film. Filming will begin in mid-September in Malaga, Spain, and the film will be called Shades of a Personality*. Even more news: cartoons about the Beatles are being made in America! They are two films called Yellow Submarine and Good Morning, Good Morning.

The Beatles will soon break another world record, achieving the great number of 200 million records sold. The record is currently held by Bing Crosby at 250 million.

(NB: *the film didn’t happen because The Beatles were too busy with the Sgt Peppers album. Cathy Berberian’s album is called Beatles Arias)


Issue 19 was published on 3rd November 1967 and had Siluete on the front cover and George Harrison on the back cover. The free flexi-disc was ‘The House That Jack Built’ by The Alan Price Set. There were no special Beatles articles inside.

Issue 19 had small piece about George.
“George Harrison, member of the famous Beatles, rests on one of the meadows of Saint Morgan (?) in a classic yoga position, now already faithfully following a series of oriental philosophies, The Beatles often pause during the shooting of their latest colour television film to relax in meditation. The film is called Magical Mystery Tour and will be shown at the beginning of December.”
(Note: I don’t know about the location of Saint Morgan (Mogen?)


Issue 23 was published on 3rd March 1968 and had Arsen Dedić on the cover. This was a particularly interesting issue because it was the only one to feature a Beatles free flex-disc – ‘Hello Goodbye.’

Issue 23 came with a free 5.5 inch flexi-disc in a paper sleeve of The Beatles ‘Hello Goodbye.’ The sleeve also has an advert for the ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ EP on Yugoton records. It was the 14th flexi-disc (F-0262) issued with džuboks magazine.

India, my music!

George Harrison spent ten days in Bombay. He played sitar in front of an audience made up of Indian musicians and recorded the music for a film. Meanwhile, The Beatles are launching a new group called Grapefruit and also becoming film producers.

When it became known that George had travelled to India, everyone thought that it was about the famous trip with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, which The Beatles have been planning for several months. However, George Harrison’s departure to Bombay is closely related to a job he is just about to finish: the composing and performing of the soundtrack for Wonderwall, George’s debut as a composer of film music.

George stayed in Bombay for ten days and recently returned to London. He travelled to India with the wish to, together with Indian musicians and instruments, record some of the music he had composed and to find inspiration for the last sections of the musical themes in the film Wonderwall. During his stay in Bombay, George played the sitar in front of an audience made up of Indian musicians who had nothing but words of praise and respect for him.

“George Harrison”, said Shambhu, one of India’s most famous musicians, who is a virtuoso on several instruments, “proved that he understood the spirit of our music even though he lives in a country that is completely different from ours.” His way of playing the sitar was a pleasant surprise for many of us.

Recently, the English RCA company held a press conference in order to present the new band Grapefruit. The presence of three Beatles in the company of an unknown band was not entirely accidental. In fact, Grapefruit are the first group to be signed by Apple, the company that opened a boutique of the same name in London last month, owned by The Beatles.

The new group consists of John Perry, George Alexander, Pete Swettenham and his brother Geoff. Three guitars and drums, all very young: they are between eighteen and twenty years old, however, they have been in pop music for several years already and have played in other bands. They write excellent, very commercial compositions. Some critics who had the opportunity to hear them predicted that they would be the “Bee Gees of 1968”. Given that The Beatles were interested in them and that record producer Terry Melcher (son of Doris Day) came from the USA specifically for them, the group Grapefruit certainly have a lot to offer.

At the cocktail party were Ringo, Paul and John. Ringo was wearing one of his many goatskin cloaks. John and Paul appeared with sticks (in Britain this is now a big fashion). Also at the party were Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones and Cilla Black. Somewhat later Donovan also arrived.

Of all The Beatles, Paul was the most polite to the representatives of the press. He is the only one who is always ready to satisfy the curiosity of journalists. When asked why George was not with them, Paul answered:

“As soon as he came back from Bombay he began writing music for a film. He hasn’t left his house for days.”

Paul has already had experience on the film scene last year when he wrote the music for the film The Family Way. The Beatles will soon, all together, realise the soundtrack for a new film which they will be produce themselves, the next step of the Apple organisation of which The Beatles are the sole owners, will be film production. So far, all that is known is that Twiggy will play the main role in the first film produced by The Beatles and that the film will be called The Wishing Tree.

(Note: I can’t find any info about the Twiggy film)

Ringo Starr the popular drummer with The Beatles has returned to London from Rome. As is already known, Ringo was there shooting the film Candy in which he plays the role of a Mexican gardener in love with a sweet Swedish girl Ewa Aulin. The filming will continue in England and the premiere will be in the spring.


Issue 22 was published on 3rd February 1968 and had Ivica Percl on the cover. The centre spread featured excellent colour photos of the Rolling Stones and Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich. The free flexi-dsic was The Dave Clark Five’s ‘Everybody Knows.’

Issue 22 has this Beatles article about the making of the ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ film.

Every day more unpredictable

Ringo Starr is in Rome. However, this does not only mean that the filming of the film Candy has begun, in which The Beatles’ drummer plays one of the main roles, but that the four Beatles have finished work on an undertaking that has been completely draining their energy in recent months: the preparation and realisation of the television show Magical Mystery Tour.

We, of course, will not see it, although a large number of European and American television networks have bought this show and will broadcast it depending on their television programmes and schedules. We are left, however, with the option of listening to a record containing six tunes performed by The Beatles in their TV show: Magical Mystery Tour, leading motif sung by Paul; Your Mother Should Know, again performed by Paul; l am the Walrus, which is also the ‘B’ side of the new single Hello, Goodbye; The Fool on the Hill, a wonderful ballad with the typical Beatles sound; Flying, an instrumental piece composed jointly by The Beatles; and Blue Jay Way, the last composition of the special extended-play written and performed by George.

Magical Mystery Tour is a story about a group of passengers travelling in a bus. The word “Magical” is the key to everything: it gave The Beatles the opportunity to delve into the unreal and introduce elements of fantasy into their story. It is the first film in which The Beatles are the sole producers, directors, organisers, screenwriters and composers. Therefore, no one is more qualified to talk about this unique achievement than they are.

When asked by journalists how they came up with the idea to realise Magical Mystery Tour and to be its producers, John Lennon answered:

“At the start of 1967, we concluded that we will no longer be able to do concerts or tours because we are not able to reproduce the sound we get in the recording studios. Since we could no longer go directly on stage, we wanted to find something that would replace the exhibitions in front of the audience. Television was the ideal solution.”

“Besides that,” added George Harrison “we can sell our spectacular to all countries of the world: where we’ve already been and where we will never go. Anyone, anywhere, can see Magical Mystery Tour and in that way get something by us.”

“Paul came up with the idea of making a television show about a bus trip,” says Ringo. “He was thinking about it back in April last year when we were on holiday in America. He started developing the idea on the flight from New York to London. Later we met with the wish to discuss it together.

“When it came time to start filming,” says Paul “we saw that each of us had defined ideas about how the show should look. The only way for our ideas to be respected was our decision to be producers and directors of the spectacular ourselves. We used only the most necessary technical assistance from the side: we did everything else ourselves.

Magical Mystery Tour is The Beatles’ first experience in the realisation of a complete show. What problems did they encounter?

The charm of magic

“Everything was so magical,” says Paul, “that I can safely say that we had no problems. The first two days, when we found ourselves on the road with this huge bus full of people, we were a bit worried. However, the ice melted and everyone got into the atmosphere of it.”

Were there many improvised scenes?

“The biggest part of the show was improvised,” says John. “Anyone who wanted to do something unusual was welcome. It was enough for that ‘something unusual’ to work.”

Did any of the four Beatles try to keep all the organisation in their hands?

“No one especially,” says George. “Perhaps John and Paul did more than me and Ringo. However, most often we worked by dividing the team into two groups: Paul and Ringo, for example, went round in the bus, whilst John and I stood outside or somewhere else.”

When asked whether Magical Mystery Tour was dedicated to all their fans or just to children, The Beatles said:

“To the widest audience possible. There are several different ‘levels of fun’ in the show. It is intended for children, their parents, and grandparents, in short for all our fans. It has interesting things to watch and listen to. If Magical Mystery Tour is successful, we will use the same technique for the realisation of a new Beatles film and the recording of new television shows. In any case, the ‘inventions’ from this show will be used in our future TV spectaculars or our films.”

What were the inventions that are the basic ingredients of this show?

“Fun was the first. Then: lots of laughs, some pretty girls, some actors, some acting and, of course, a little magic. In addition to that, of course, six Beatles’ songs.”

Five years of the Beatles era ends with the frenetic success of the television show Magical Mystery Tour, which marked the return of the popular quartet to the public after six months of absence from the scene. The first and second places of the famous English “top-twenty” belong to them: 1. “Hello Goodbye”, 2. “Magical Mystery Tour” (EP) and the unsurpassed Beatles!


Issue 27 was published on 3rd July 1968. French singer Mireille Mathieu was on the front cover. Inside was an exclusive interview with Julie Driscoll and a huge colour poster of The Bee Gees.

Issue 27 featured a spread detailing the five-year “reign” of The Beatles.


Issue 38, the penultimate issue, was published on 3rd June 1969 and had The Beatles on the cover. Inside they were mentioned in small pieces as well as the news and readers’ drawings.


The record company of the Beatles Apple founded its subsidiary under the name “Zapple“, which will issue only LP records. For now, it is known that the new company will release three records: “Unfinished Music No 2” by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, “Electronic Sounds” by George Harrison and “Listening To Richard Brautigan”. Apparently, John Lennon will no longer be able to go to America, because the American embassy cancelled his visa. This was done because of the drug affair in which Lennon was involved.


The supergroup consisting of Eric Clapton, Stevie Winwood and Ginger Baker has a new member. It’s bass guitarist Ric Grech, former member of the group “Family”. He also plays the electric violin. The group has decided that their new name is “Blind Faith” and they already have a contracted tour of America, which starts on 11th July. For now, they spend a large part of their time in the studio and already have 14 hours of recorded material. It is believed that their first album will be released on 22nd June.


Jimi Hendrix has joined the ranks of pop stars who were arrested for drug possession. During a recent visit to Canada, at the airport in Toronto, Jimi was arrested for possession of heroin. After a short time, he was released to continue touring, but with bail of 10,000 dollars. After the end of the tour, Jimi will have to attend a court hearing scheduled for 19th June.


For Đorđe Marjanović, it is “new” when he has a few moments of free time. After hard radio and TV recordings, between tours and commitments, Đorđe finds time to play with his daughters. “Popularity is nice, but the moments I spend with my girls cannot be compared to any other pleasures,” says the famous singer.

An advert for the Yugoslavian Beatles Fan Club founded by Veljko Despot – a branch of the official fan club.

“Have you already become one of the two thousand members of the Yugoslav branch of this unique fan club in the world? If you haven’t, hurry up! John, Paul, George and Ringo are calling you… Write to the address of the club (Zagreb, Gajeva 2a) and you will receive information that will delight you. Hurry, because — John, Paul, George and Ringo are calling you…”

This drawing of John Lennon, referring to the song from the White Album, was submitted by Ljubomir Janković of Belgrade to the readers’ caricatures’ section.


Issue 36 was published on 3rd April 1969. On the front cover were the London band Gun.


American manager Sid Bernstein, who organised The Beatles’ grandiose concerts at New York’s Shea Stadium in 1965 and 1966, travelled to London last week to try to lure the world’s best group back to the stage with a tempting offer. A representative of The Beatles’ record label Apple said about it: “The Beatles have no concert plans at the moment.” This rejected Bernstein’s tempting offer of four million dollars for four concerts in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami. In the meantime, The Beatles are recording material for an upcoming single and LP, and are also finishing filming for a television documentary. John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Two Virgins entered the US LP chart last week, so John and Yoko are planning a new album that they will start recording next month. The Beatles received another gold record in America. This time for the album Yellow Submarine, the group’s fourteenth gold album in America.

More about Mary Hopkin in issue 36 – “Italian singers frighten me”


This was my first stay in Italy at the Sam Remo Festival. I didn’t know that country or the Italian pop music ambience, to tell you the truth, I don’t know enough about the English one either: I’m new. Not a year has passed. Back in May, last year, I was staying at my house in Pontardawe, we are neither rich nor poor! That day, a phone call came from a guy. A long-distance call: I was scared, it doesn’t happen often that someone from another city called us. The guy had a Liverpool accent, said his name was Paul McCartney and that I had to come to him in London for an audition. I panicked. I couldn’t believe that it was really one of The Beatles, I couldn’t speak. Paul waited for a moment, then told me to call my mother and made an agreement with her. The next day a big black car came to pick me up and we left for London. Paul explained to me how things developed. Twiggy, a friend of his, heard me singing on the television. It was a competition for new singers called Opportunity Knocks and I’d won. Twiggy had immediately forgotten my name but, having lunch with Paul, she said a few nice things about me. At that time, The Beatles were looking for new singers for their record company Apple. That’s why Paul invited me to an audition, signed a contract with me and told the press: “Mary is simple magnificent!” I am aware that this story seems fictional, because it is too good to be true. I know it’s like all the other stories, about all the other singers…


Since then, they started calling me “The Beatles girl.” That’s not true: I never went out with them. We only meet for some television spectacle or advertising meeting: rarely. Paul decides everything about my work, but through his associates. He made sure to make me a personality: he decided that I had to be a simple, spontaneous and kind, old-fashioned girl. He insisted that my voice be clear, balanced, cheerful, ambivalent. I was not allowed to force it, nor to dramatize the composition, by trying to express feelings and act out the words of the song. Paul believes that it is vulgar, unworthy of an artist who must strive for stylisation and always leave an impression of dignity, refinement and peace. Of course, that’s just his opinion. The opinion of the Italian singers is completely the opposite: they are all very passionate, they shout a lot, they are so tragic that at times I was even scared. It seemed to me that they were ill, I was afraid that they would collapse in the middle of the stage. However, it is normal that Italian women are prone to melodrama, opera: that style is not contemporary, but it is very colourful!


Everyone in San Remo was so upset, nervous and confused. Here in Britain, excitement is not so common. Maybe we understand music, spectacles, records, success or publicity in a less dilettantish way, with more distance. I don’t like the atmosphere of English pop music: that world is too pretentious, very fake, they are all snobs to the point of cruelty, real morale killers. I don’t like hippies either. I like normal people. I’m aware that I’m left behind, that I’m growing slowly and I’m having a hard time overcoming my shyness. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I wear very little make-up and only recently got used to wearing a mini-skirt. Amongst all those classy and free-spirited London girls, I feel like a clumsy country girl. On the other hand, I dread the thought that I might change and lose my cheerfulness and balance.

In San Remo, everyone was sad and crying. Rosanna Fratelo cried from despair that her song did not enter the final. Carmen Vilani cried because her song did enter the final. Why cry about that? They drink, they look down at each other, they say things that I can’t explain. You get the impression that they are organising some kind of conspiracy. I don’t know which Italian singers could be successful in Britain. I’m afraid there aren’t many: one or two. Maybe Rita Pavone, who was already in England and had some success. Maybe I haven’t listen to them in their best interpretations, maybe in Italy everything is somewhat improvised, insufficiently elaborated and studied. When I just remember how much we worked to find the composition for my debut, to prepare the arrangement and interpretation. It took Paul two months to choose it. Two years earlier, he’d heard an old Russian tune in a London cabaret: Those Were the Days. When the record came out in England and America, the critics were kind: they said it reminded me of the heroic lamentations of Kurt Weill, they compared me to Joan Baez. The record was a success, but it was the result of great work, serious professional preparation and the musical talent of The Beatles. Of course, not everyone starts from such favourable premises.


The Beatles are very strict with the singers who work for them. They forbade me to participate in television spectacles: they say that it is enough for a singer to appear on television so that no one is interested in him or her anymore. They don’t want much publicity in the press for their singers: they say publicity is vulgar. The fact is that, with the exception of specialised magazines, the English daily press has little interest in pop music or singers. It’s another thing when they arrest the Rolling Stones or fine John Lennon for walking around naked… They were also interested in me because I am a unique case: it is not often that a debutante sells three million records worldwide in six months. Am I rich? I guess, I don’t know: with us, I get a percentage of the sales once a year, so I haven’t received a single pound yet. It might last me a lifetime: the second record is always a stumbling block. It might work, but it may also return me to anonymity. No one will notice it, and the press will not write about the fall, crisis, collapse, loss of the throne, defeat. In our country, it would be crazy to devote two or three pages of a daily newspaper to a singing competition, followed by television reports and comments on the radio, at any time of the day, with big headlines, with lots of photos. In Italy this is all normal. But Italy is a distinctly musical country, a country that loves stars. And that’s nice.

In Issue 36 Paul’s marriage to Linda Eastman causes protests amongst female fans.



“Thief”, “Cheat”, “Paul is ours!” This is how twenty young Beatles fans expressed their disdain for twenty-five-year-old Linda Eastman, right after the announcement of her engagement to Paul McCartney. Holding hands, Linda and Paul were leaving the Apple, a record company of the famous group, when they were attacked by a group of enraged and jealous girls. The most beautiful of the Beatles hugged Linda’s shoulders and, protecting her with his own body, led her towards his Rolls Royce.

Linda was pale and could barely hold back the tears. She rested her face on Paul’s shoulder and the driver immediately drove off. That the same evening, it was officially announced that there is a strong sentimental relationship between The Beatles’ bass guitarist and Linda Eastman, but that the two have not yet determined either the place or the date of their wedding.

Paul McCartney’s sentimental choice could deal another heavy blow to The Beatles’ popularity. George and Ringo are married; John Lennon lives with Japanese woman Yoko Ono. For young female fans of the band, Paul was the only “available” personality: a golden bachelor, romantic and handsome, every girl’s dream to marry. But, now Paul will get married! He has chosen a twenty-five-year-old woman, divorced and the mother of a six-year-old girl, and above all extremely rich. Linda is the heiress to the large Kodak camera company, whilst her brother has recently taken over all the affairs of The Beatles’ record company.


“Paul, you’re rotten,” read one banner during the anti-Linda demonstration. There are many who cannot forgive Paul McCartney for leaving Jane Usher, the young stage actress who had been his girlfriend for years. Jane was reserved, shy, not at all aggressive: the ideal girl for a pop star, ready to give up even marriage in order not to “steal” from the fans. In July of last year, during a short press conference, Asher declared in front of the BBC microphones that everything was over between her and Paul. At that time, Linda had already entered Paul’s life, so today it is easy to guess what was going on.

The noisy engagement of McCartney with the divorced heiress threatens The Beatles not only with a wave of protest events, but also with the revival of a scandal that was much talked about five years ago. It happened in Liverpool, the city from where the famous quartet set out to conquer the world. Today in Liverpool someone is threatening to “speak out,” extract many compromising documents and thus “block” McCarthy’s marriage to Linda Eastman.

It all started in the first months of 1962 when the famous Beatle sang in the Liverpool club the Blue Angel. Paul was always obsessed with girls in mini-skirts who came to the bar. “No sentimental ties, no self-control, be careful,” warned Brian Epstein, manager and “creator” of The Beatles, who tragically ended his life. George, John and Ringo listened to him step by step, but not Paul, who began courting sixteen-year-old Anita Cochrane: a thin and quiet brunette who, unbeknownst to her parents, came every night to applaud Paul. Paul and Anita were inseparable for a year.

“I’m sure,” Anita would say later, “that Paul loved me then and that only his manager prevented him from officially announcing our relationship.”

In the summer of 1963, Anita Cochrane discovered with horror that she was expecting a child. Paul and his band, then already famous, were on tour in New York. The girl started bombarding Paul with telegrams and phone calls: “We’ll talk when I return to Liverpool,” said Paul diplomatically. Then Brian Epstein and the company that managed the success of The Beatles did everything to prevent a scandal. At first they thought of ignoring Anita Cochrane’s claim and denying her relationship with McCartney.


“Ignore everything,” Brian Epstein used to say. Anita’s son was born on 10th February 1964 and was named Philip Paul. Two weeks later, accompanied by her mother, the girl hired a lawyer who was supposed to call Paul McCartney to court and force him to admit that he was the father of Philip Paul.

In that moment Paul was gripped by panic. His manager realised that the process, regardless of the verdict, could shake the great career of The Beatles. In April 1965, after many “conflicts” between Anita Cochrane’s lawyer and the administrator of The Beatles, the two sides found a common language. With a substantial sum, Anita waived any legal action.

“I accepted this agreement because I was forced to” — said Anita later through tears. “However, as long as I live I will repeat to everyone that Paul McCartney was my only boyfriend, my only love, and that Philip is his son.”

For months, the girl hoped to win Paul’s love again, but in vain. Paul did not appear again, and the citizens of Liverpool accused Anita of “selling” little Philip. Some even said that the girl was a visionary and hysterical: one of the many unbridled “fans” who occasionally accuse stars of being the fathers of their children.

Unhappy and disappointed, Anita returned to the shadows and the scandal was forgotten. No one would have mentioned him if Paul had not announced his marriage to Linda Eastman. It is quite likely that Paul was genuinely in love with her and that Linda’s closeness (a mature, intelligent woman with an unfortunate marriage experience behind her) turned the former spoilt young man into a conscious and determined man. However, English public opinion is full of love stories about The Beatles.



Issue 32 was published on 3rd December 1968 (my first birthday). On the cover were The Equals with a young Eddy Grant. I reckon this photo was taken in Amsterdam. The cover says that there is a poster of Jools inside, however, my copy doesn’t have it.

The main Beatles article was about John and Yoko’s drugs bust.





A woman in a fur coat and trousers called out to John Lennon suspected of using narcotic drugs, as he walked between two police officers.

“You’re a saint!”

“Thank you”, answered John laconically and put his arm around Yoko Ono, the Japanese woman he has been living with for some time.

Gritting his teeth, Lennon listened to the accusation and the summons to report back to the judge on 28th November. He didn’t say a word. His girlfriend didn’t even look at the judge. They were arrested the day before in their apartment in Montagu Square: two agents from the drugs squad at Scotland Yard found that John and his girlfriend were hiding a large amount of marijuana in their apartment. The arrest of John Lennon, who with McCartney is the creator of the most beautiful compositions of the quartet from Liverpool, is in fact almost identical to last year’s arrest of Mick Jagger, who was found with the same substance that, according to English law, leads to prison.

As is already known, the leader of the Rolling Stones was sentenced to five months in prison, while his friend Marianne Faithfull was released. Agents surprised this couple at a hippie party, Marianne was just wearing a fur.

Lennon attracted suspicion when, at the trial of Jagger along with Paul McCartney, he declared that there was nothing wrong with taking intoxicating elements, admitting that he himself had experimented with the drug LSD. His conversion to oriental mysticism and his stay in India with the Maharishi, as well as his separation from his wife Cynthia, speak in favour of the claim that Lennon has gone “to the other side.”

Yoko Ono, who is 34 years old, six years older than John, is married to American film producer Anthony Cox and has a four-year-old daughter. In anticipation of two divorces, an unusual artistic and ideological understanding was born between her and John, the culmination of which was the publication of a photograph of them in which they are both completely naked. The photographed was supposed to illustrate their record Two Virgins.

A bold and unusual gesture, which in a country like England is unusually dangerous. Britain could never stand two things: nudity and intellectuals. Public opinion viewed Yoko Ono with suspicion, not so much because she abandoned her family, but because of her understanding of avant-garde art. A film she directed, which is called Yoko Ono No. 4 is actually a montage of 365 different photographs — of people’s bottoms.


Here’s how things went. Some time ago, John and Yoko recorded a record that they wanted to launch with as much pomp as possible. On the album’s cover of Two Virgins, John and Yoko appeared completely naked.

The trouble started when the photographs were distributed to the press for advertising purposes. Some weekly newspapers vigorously refused to publish such an advertisement: they demanded that the “vital” points be censored. However, Yoko Ono is not a woman who would back down from the onslaught of public opinion. Amongst other things, she said to some journalists who came to interview her:

“Spiritually John and I are two virgins. We are God’s beings who are only seeking freedom.”

Except for this faint reference to God, Yoko expresses herself in the typical hippie language so that Scotland Yard, who had long been keeping an eye on John Lennon and his girlfriend on suspicion of possessing narcotic drugs, applied what has become almost a rule for all police in Western countries: “Wherever there are hippies, there are drugs.” On 18th October, eight policemen and a plainclothes woman appeared at 9 Montagu Square, armed with search warrants and accompanied by dogs trained to sniff out drugs.


When the police broke into the apartment, John and Yoko were just having lunch. Probably annoyed by this unexpected intrusion, they put up a strong resistance, trying in every way to prevent the agents from carrying out the search. Yoko put up more of a fight: she punched two law officers who had to put in a lot of effort to take her away. At the time of the search, the Japanese woman, not so young anymore, was completely naked, and instead of shyly retreating to the bathroom and putting something on, she preferred to fight with the agents, shouting at the top of her voice that if they wanted to arrest her, they can only arrest her as she is — naked. However, she did not achieve her intentions, because the policemen still managed to put trousers and a short fur coat on her.

Meanwhile, trained dogs managed to detect a larger amount of marijuana and hashish. Some time later, tired agents and a dishevelled policewoman took John and Yoko to the nearest police station, where they were charged with drug use and resisting law enforcement. Later they were released on bail.


John Lennon is a real gold mine for journalists today. Having just announced that he is expecting a child with Yoko Ono, John organised an unusual “solo” exhibition in a gallery in central London: he exhibited 365 white balloons, releasing them into the sky with the message: “If you get this balloon, answer me with a kind sentence.” Instead of kind sentences, Lennon received hundreds of letters full of insults.

Perhaps this row about the “forbidden photograph” arose because this couple does not present a pleasant sight to the eyes. He, naked and bespectacled, looks like a caricature of some fine Cranach canvas. She has long since passed her youthful years. Because of this, even the “experts” of beauty were upset.

Paul McCartney, John Lennon’s creative alter-ego, was very logical: “Nudity is a strange thing. Until the age of five, everyone accepts it, and later it becomes dirty. Why?”

No one could respond to such naivety.

V. M.





Issue 39 (the last in the 1960s) was published on 3rd June 1969 with Scott Walker on the front cover.




“She is my ideal woman. The woman of my dreams” said John aged 28, an Englishman, a Beatle, a millionaire, divorced.

“He is my daily bread”, said Yoko Ono, 34 years old, Japanese, artist, actress, poet, poor, twice divorced.

They got married after ten months of living together, on 20th March in Gibraltar. The ceremony lasted less than four minutes. There were no guests. Both Yoko and John were dressed in white. They both had long hair with a centre parting. They both wore glasses. They were both wearing tennis shoes. They arrived in a twin-engine plane that they had rented in Paris. They started their life together on the same plane. With wedding rings on their fingers.


They met in 1966, at the Indica Gallery in London, where Yoko Ono held an exhibition.

“John came to the gallery the evening before the grand opening”, says Yoko. “He asked me to hold the object he was holding in his hand: a box of pins. The exhibition was conceived that way: visitors could knock a pin into the painting with a hammer. I said that he would have to pay five shillings for that. John didn’t want to pay. He said he would only knock the pin in in his imagination. We immediately understood each other.”

At that time, Yoko did not know that John was one of the famous Beatles. When they told her that, she grimaced.

“In the world of art, the Beatles are not worth a penny”, she said. She thought he was a normal man, with a slightly strange appearance, some kind of official.

John’s version is somewhat different.

“When I went to the gallery, I didn’t even notice Yoko. I was not with it at all. I hadn’t slept for three nights. I had a beard, bloodshot eyes. Then Yoko came up to me. We spoke. We became friends. We saw each other quite often, and I even took her home to my wife.”

At that time, John Lennon was married to Cynthia Maxwell (sic Powell), a beautiful Englishwoman, younger than himself. He had a three-year-old son, Julian. Yoko was in her second marriage with the American Tony Cox. She had a three-year-old daughter named Kyoko.

“I argued with my husband about the phone: he always wanted to call. He was curious, aggressive. “He didn’t understand that in my art I need a collaborator and not a secretary for everything”, says Yoko.


After friendship came love. A great love. Blind. John Lennon divorced in November 1968. His adultery was public. The court entrusted little Julian to the beautiful Cynthia. Yoko got divorced at the same time.

Yoko was not beautiful even as a girl. Today, at the age of thirty-four, her wild face is dotted with ugly wrinkles. He is short and clumsy. Her bottom is saggy, her breasts are limp. Hair, although always scented with shampoo, is curly and untidy like wild bushes. Only her hands, with delicate and small fingers, seem feminine. The rest is awful. Someone said of her that she is “Ernest Borgnine disguised as a woman”, but Yoko doesn’t care about that. She doesn’t care about being feminine. When John told her one day that he hoped she wouldn’t die before him, she replied:

“Be calm, my love. I’m not beautiful, but I am strong like a tower.”

Since Yoko took Cynthia’s place, the house has remained the same. In the bedroom, the first thing that catches your eye is the wooden floor with several hundred pins stuck into it.

“That was done by my wife and my mother-in-law,” says John. “After the divorce, they flew in here one day and tore up the carpet like two enraged demons. They were hoping to make me angry. However, the pins were very nice, so Yoko and I agreed to leave them where they are.”

A large, comfortable and always nicely made bed remained in the room. In the dining room, the red tapestry chosen by Cynthia and the Persian-style tables from which the two newlyweds eat using their hands instead of a fork and knife remain. On one kitchen wall hangs a huge portrait of Queen Victoria, and on the other, it says in big letters: “The drunk and glutton will end up in misery.”

Fortunately, Cynthia and her mother did not destroy the gramophones, tape recorders, amplifiers and musical instruments. The kind of collection of nonsense that John is crazy about also remained untouched: an old clock, a bent stethoscope, a faded bow tie. Yoko brought some medicine, food and one orchid into the house. The two eat only vegetables and drink tea. Never meat.

John is kind and obedient. Yoko is in command. She enjoys no sympathy at all in The Beatles’ circle. They accuse her of being short-tempered, overbearing, without any sense of humour.


Yoko became famous with a short film showing 365 naked behinds. One critic said of this film that it is “a wonderful discovery of humanity seen from behind.” After that, Yoko staged a show in London called “Cut Piece”: in an art gallery, Yoko sat in her most beautiful dress and shouted “cut to pieces” to the visitors, armed with scissors. They threw themselves at her like savages and Yoko ended up naked. Another critic concluded that Yoko has “art in her head.” “I’m not sure I really understand her art” says John. “But I admire her strangely. I even neglected my Beatles’ work to help her. I have always dreamt of meeting a woman like Yoko. I married Cynthia because she was pregnant: we never had anything in common. But I am weak and if Yoko had not appeared I would never have had the courage to leave my wife and son. At first, I liked Yoko’s company, but I didn’t realise how much she means to me. I was in a mystical period: together with others, I was in India, with the Maharishi. One day I got a letter from Yoko. It said ‘I am a cloud. Look. Watch for me in the sky.’ Immediately I realised that Yoko was my woman. Our story began as soon as I returned to England…”

Issue 39 had regular readers’ drawings.

Plus a full-page photo of Mary Hopkin.


Issue 31 was published on 3rd November 1968 and had Croatian Kvartet 4M on the cover. Inside were four Beatles related pieces plus a large poster of Indexi.

Issue 31 had a small introductory piece about Mary Hopkin.


      Despite the criticism they have been exposed to recently, The Beatles are constantly at the top and always full of surprises. Their latest discovery is the eighteen-year-old blonde Mary Hopkin, who with the composition Those Were The Days brought the first big success to their new company Apple.

Unlike many new stars, Mary is shy, charming and honest. An ordinary girl who faces the jungle of pop business and bravely endures all the difficulties that popularity brings. She is without a mask and affection, aware that she has achieved success thanks to the luck of being discovered by The Beatles.

“When I left school I wanted to work in clubs in order to go on a secretarial course. After that I intended to come to London and try something in the London clubs. I never believed that I would be so lucky. Why did I succeed? I think it’s because of my simplicity. I am quite an ordinary person, there is nothing special about me. The audience probably likes that.”

Mary believes that being discovered by Paul McCartney is pure luck and that people buy her record because of the composition Those Were The Days and not because of her voice.

“I wouldn’t like to be a star in the usual sense of the word — not like Sandie Shaw and Dusty Springfield, because then I wouldn’t be me. I like their success and I would like to become an experienced singer, but I would not want to change.”

Like all young stars, Mary is happy about her success but always blushes when she receives compliments. She is especially glad that her record, so to speak, rehabilitated The Beatles and their Apple company. She enjoys the busy schedule of interviews, concerts and TV shows. The only downside to this job is the lack of time, so she rarely visits his parents.

“I would like to have my own home. I don’t have time to moan about a house, but I feel like I won’t have a real home until my sister and I find an apartment. We want to have a place where we can be peaceful.”

Mary wasn’t even mad when Sandie Shaw recorded the song that meant so much to her.

“I was very disappointed when I first heard that Sandie had recorded a second version of Those Were The Days because she is a famous star and I am just a beginner. It doesn’t bother me now, not because my record is in the chart and hers isn’t, but because I know that the song sells the record and not me. I’d be disappointed if the record wasn’t a hit, but it wouldn’t last long… I’d try again.”

What would you do if you met Sandie Shaw in a TV studio?

“I’d say: Hello…” says Mary.

And she really thinks so.


Issue 31 had exclusive photos of Paul McCartney filming a promo film for Apple Records new signing Grapefruit’s single ‘Elevator’ – no trace of the film on the Internet. The guy in the bottom left corner is Italian singer Adriano Celentano.


Alone, without the help of cameramen or technicians, Paul McCartney wanted to try his hand at directing and made a film about the group Grapefruit who are making records for The Beatles’ record company Apple. The shooting of the film lasted twenty-four hours, and the action takes place in a park: there the guys from Grapefruit do the most extravagant things, jumping from trampolines and rolling around on the grass. The film was immediately bought by English television: it will be shown in an autumn music programme.


Issue 31’s colour centre spread was this excellent collage for The Beatles ‘Yellow Submarine’ film (‘Žuta podmornica’)
Issue 31 had a double page spread about The Beatles ‘Yellow Submarine’ animated film.

The first cartoon film about The Beatles quartet is being shown in many countries of the world, but it is probable that our viewers will not see it due to the expensiveness and disinterest of the distributors. We asked our recent correspondent from London, Goran Kobali, to describe this interesting film production with the help of the materials sent us by Andy Gray. So, darken the room — don’t forget that the film is in colour — and the show can begin……


Issue 35 was published on 3rd March 1969. On the front cover were Paul McCartney and Mary Hopkin. Inside were many pieces about The Rolling Stones, including a piece about Keith Richards with Relja Bašić, and the ‘Rock and Roll Circus’ film.

Issue 35 featured an article about pop stars being naked…

Many heroes from the world of pop music appear in photos, even on stage, half-naked or completely naked. Therefore, it is not surprising that a journalist addressed them with the words: “You are young, but you have already passed your twenties. Your shoulders are hunched, your back is not quite straight. Your body is a bit saggy. Don’t you think you look better dressed?”…….


Issue 18 was published on 3rd October 1967 and featured Indexi on the front cover.

Inside was the last interview with The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein by Mike Hennessey, which is seemingly a translation of the original interview first published in Melody Maker on 19th August 1967 here.

This issue came with a free flexi disc of the The Shadows singing Running Out Of World. They performed this song in Split in 1967.

The back cover of this issue featured a full-colour page of a crossed-legged John Lennon.

More to come…

More Beatles here

There is a digital archive of džuboks magazines that were published between 1974 and 1985 here.